Here is an article that I had published a while back on the topic of communications (here is a slightly edited version of the same). I got reminded of this recently while talking to a manager who felt frustrated that he couldn’t get through his peer in a remote location and so couldn’t resolve his problem.
In a world which is becoming increasingly globalized and functions getting relocated to lowest-cost destination (see businessweek article and further comments on it by Scot on CubeRules), it is critical that he/she is very good at communicating well cross-site. In addition to the problems I mentioned in the article above, there are cultural and social aspects which impact how communication will happen, and a good manager understands these aspects and applies them well. For example, Asian cultures place a lot of emphasis on knowing people (‘relationships’) and many of the work get done through that channel. To be successful in communicating with such teams, it is essential to invest time in building that relationship, otherwise lots of frustration can set in.
As a manager, do you think your communication abilities impact your career significantly?