My daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter. She has read the books, seen the movies, and has a wand! She is in England this week and had a chance to visit the studio where the movie was filmed.
The books take readers on the adventures of the young wizard, Harry Potter, and his best friends as they learn the wizardry trade at the Hogwarts School. One of the skills they learn is how to use a wand. The key to casting a spell involves the correct command, the right voice inflection and the accurate flick of the wrist. And of course, using the right spell at the right time.
The same skills can be used when communicating to your employees. It is not enough to tell employees what must be done. Good managers must provide adequate instruction and give reasons for the requests. The tone of the request is important as it sets a priority and should treat the employee with respect. The medium of communication must also be considered. Is it best to email or speak directly to the individual?
Just as Harry had to practice using his wand in order to cast spells, managers should also have periodic training on communication and leadership skills. The students of Hogwarts were taught to use magic with respect and only when needed. This is a good lesson for managers as well: use your authority only when necessary. The manager who is willing to work with the team rather than just giving orders gets the most respect. Take time to listen, observe, and give feedback as well as thanks.
Although not instant magic, learning proper communication skills can be as effective as a magic wand in the business world.