Great managers tend to be great communicators. They’re able to set expectations, ask questions, listen carefully, and share feedback in ways that inspire employees to do and be their best. When that happens, employee morale, productivity, and retention all improve—which, in turn, helps cement your company’s reputation as being a place that people want to work. In other words, investing in your managers and supervisors is a smart business move.

At People Spark Consulting, we guide our clients through workshops and trainings about creating intentional company culture based on clear communication (among other things).

Today, we’re sharing a “cheat sheet” of key phrases designed to help managers communicate clearly with employees no matter how crazy things are on the floor or in the field. 

How to say what you mean

We hope managers and supervisors will consider incorporating the following phrases into impromptu conversations or scheduled sit-downs with employees. These simple statements or “sentence starters” will help you make a point, give and get meaningful feedback, and set clear boundaries and expectations. 

To recognize an employee’s good work, say:

Thank you.

I appreciate you.

To clarify something or avoid a miscommunication, say:

What am I missing?

What I am hearing you say is …

To get feedback from an employee, say:

Say more about that.

Help me understand.

Yes, and …

To build trust by clarifying the “why” of any conversation, say:

My intent is/My intent is not …

To address or change a critical concern, say: 

Let me be clear.

This is not okay.

(Want more leadership tips? In this blog post, we share five ways to become a truly great manager.)

Using these ten simple phrases can enable managers to start communicating better right away. And there’s no time like the present since investing in your leadership team can make running your business easier, and even increase your profits and margin in the long run.


We help businesses develop and use simple, practical HR processes to create a thriving company culture and boost their bottom line. Email us to learn about our customized services.

Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

Download the guide: Achieve Your Business Goals Through Your Culture and People Strategies.

The success of your business depends on your culture. Therefore, it is critical to establish an intentional culture in your business and build strategies that support and reinforce it. The purpose of this eGuide is to provide a foundation for your business culture and ensure your people strategies and practices are aligned with it. Grab the guide - it’s free!

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