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Prompting Participation

Building a participatory communication environment in which communication flows both ways requires a shift from a traditional management style to a style based on equal exchange between workers and management.

To bring about this shift, you need to:

  • encourage participatory communication,
  • learn from employees, and
  • provide support.

Participatory communication

By discussing with an employee his intention of hiring 15 new people during the upcoming quarter, a departmental manager may discover his employee aspires to a management position. As the department will need qualified staff to integrate new personnel, he immediately identifies an employee seeking additional responsibility.

Such participatory communication relationships, wherein the manager encourages the expression of opinions and concerns, contrast sharply with the monologue style some managers use to dictate terms to their employees. The free exchange of ideas, information, and feelings is important to participatory communication.

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