Board Announces Developing a Plan for Closure

The Board of Trustees of Eastern Nazarene College today announced it has voted unanimously to begin the process of closing ENC and transitioning it into a new educational enterprise that will carry on ENC’s legacy of providing a transformational education that equips diverse students to lead and serve our world as agent of Christ’s love and truth.

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The Art of Effective Communication: 4 Modern Skills Every Manager Must Know

Jun 6, 2024

Most current—and aspiring—managers know that effective communication empowers you to motivate your employees, delegate tasks, and navigate conflict with confidence. But as businesses and people have evolved, so have the types of communication skills needed in the workplace. For example, a Forbes survey of 14,000 people found that only 21 percent of employees preferred to have every decision made by their boss.

With authoritarian leadership less popular than ever, today’s manager must have a firm grasp of interpersonal skills like active listening and empathy. Knowing who you are also helps—and that might require you to do some internal work.

Here are four modern communication strategies for current and aspiring leaders.

1. Active Listening

As a leader, your words carry weight. But what many don’t realize is the foundation for effective communication as a manager is listening. Learning how to listen actively shows your employees you care, fosters trust, and encourages open communication within your team.

Active listening as a manager could mean:

  • Putting down distractions (e.g. your phone) when talking to employees.
  • Validating your staff’s ideas (and following through, when applicable).
  • Saying “I’m not sure” before reflecting or gathering information and following up on a conversation.

Forbes lists active listening as one of the key strategies modern managers can use to limit the trend of employees “quiet quitting.”

2. Transparency & Authenticity

Authoritarian management was the norm for decades (perhaps centuries). But just telling people what to do without explaining yourself doesn’t always win hearts and minds.

Over the last twenty years or so, newer styles of management have emerged. Not coincidentally, many of these new styles prioritize honest communication characteristics, like authenticity and transparency:

  • Transparency: Sharing information openly and honestly, even when it’s difficult.
  • Authenticity: Being genuine, true to your values, and leading by example.

Managers who can be honest and share more of themselves are more likely to create an environment where their team feels comfortable expressing themselves and working collaboratively.

However, this skill takes time to develop and may require the manager to do some internal work, such as:

  • Assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
  • Writing down what you believe in (and understanding why).
  • Mapping out your goals and who you wish to be as a leader.

Having a strong mentor or network of business professionals to help you understand who you are and how you lead. In ENC’s online Master of Science in Management degree, students develop these skills and learn from world-class business faculty.

3. Empathy & Respect

Effective communicators are keenly aware that a team is comprised of individuals with unique perspectives and experiences. This is important because team members who feel respected and valued tend to be more engaged and productive. Leading with empathy and respect can be a wonderful investment of your time if your goal is to unleash the potential of your employees.

Here are some simple ways to incorporate these qualities into your management style:

  • Publicly acknowledge achievements and celebrate individual and team successes.
  • Be understanding when someone faces personal challenges.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, when possible.
  • Treat everyone with dignity, regardless of their position.
  • Be approachable and open to feedback.

Sometimes, a simple “thank you” goes a long way. Never underestimate the power of being nice to someone you work with.

4. Holistic Development

Finally, the modern manager who aspires to master the art of effective communication must realize that his or her responsibility extends beyond just tasks and profits. Today’s employees seek more from their work than showing up and punching the clock. Managers who can facilitate intellectual, emotional, social, and even spiritual growth for their employees are less common, but incredibly valuable (and often well-compensated).

As a leader, it would be wise to consider your approach to the following areas:

  • Meaning and Purpose: Employees who feel connected to their work are more productive and happier and tend to stay longer as a result.
  • Resilience and Support: Offering resources on developing resilience and well-being, particularly mental health, is an amazing way to foster trust and respect from your workers.
  • Work-Life Balance: Setting healthy boundaries and remembering your employees have lives outside of work is a sign of mutual respect that can go a long way.


If you’re looking to further develop your management strategy and leadership skills in today’s dynamic business world, learn about the Master of Science in Management at ENC. This 100% online program will equip you with the tools you need to manage and communicate effectively in today’s dynamic business world.