Managers can make the difference when they know how to communicate

Over the past three weeks I was at a retreat in a Dzogchen Buddhist monastery in South India. I had an amazing time, and I could really focus on something that is absolutely essential to me, my spirituality. I don’t want to do my work on autopilot, but deeply inspired and in full awareness. There were about 50 other retreatants. It was precious to experience how respectfully we interacted with each other. And this, in turn, helped us to remain in our own personal strength.

This way of communicating can also be of great benefit in the workplace. Managers can achieve so much more if they know how to communicate. In this weeks’ article, I will elaborate on this subject.


Communication is the lubricant that makes an organization run smoothly. Good communication really makes the difference. The way a manager speaks with his colleagues, co-workers, suppliers et cetera is crucial. I personally feel that a manager should master the art of communicating almost to perfection, because the way a manager interacts with people can make them join in or turn away.

The brain is for the larger part unaware

The brain is unaware for over 95%, perhaps even more. This means that the results of poor communication are automatically negative and that conversely, the effects of good communication are positive. It is good to let this sink in for a moment. Good communication produces motivated and committed staff, all by itself.

The brain is a complex of networks

The brain consists of a large number of brain cells. These brain cells interconnect to form networks. The brain has a great many networks. A network provides for a programmed way of acting, feeling or thinking. Two networks in particular have an enormous influence on how we act, think and feel. Which of the two networks is activated most is determined by the way we communicate. Please remember that this all happens automatically.

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset

The two networks are: the network of the growth mindset or internal leader, and the network of the fixed mindset, or follower. In simple terms: the growth mindset effects a proactive attitude and a fixed mindset effects an obstinate attitude. When someone is in a certain network he or she will automatically act in conformity with this network.

Communication and networks

Regardless of someone’s personal predisposition – some people tend to be more in the follower mindset and others in the internal leader mindset – communication has a great influence on which one of the two networks is activated. In other words: the way a manager communicates determines whether an employee will follow and engage or become uncooperative.

An example of such behaviour. It all starts with proper role model behaviour from the part of the supervisor. A supervisor should at all times make sure that he or she is in the internal leader network. This automatically has its’ effect the other person’s network. To achieve this, many managers first have work on personal leadership. By investing in personal leadership, they will become better equipped at activating  their personal internal leader mind set.

Transferring responsibility

The second way of ensuring that the other person will come into the internal leader mind set is to consciously NOT take responsibility. People are hired to perform certain tasks, and it the manager’s job to make sure the conditions are such that staff can do what they are supposed to. This is a trap many managers fall into, because it requires patience and the skill of letting go. You need patience because although you may know how the other person should perform, it is better to leave the responsibility with the other. This in turn encourages the other person to enter the internal leader mind-set. The greater the trust you give, the sooner the other person can step into his or her internal leader network.


Perhaps you feel I’m simplifying things. The good news is that it’s not all that hard. With appropriate practice, your new way of communicating can enable other people to enter their internal network too.

If you need support with this, I encourage you to participate in a training session of brain based coaching. Click here to read more.

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