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I am a supervisor and I have a communication problem


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I am a supervisor at a corporation over about 10 people.

My responsibility involves holding daily meetings with the team and meeting with individuals during one on one meetings when they need to be reprimanded.

In some ways I have been the best for the job, as I've developed new tracking systems of the employee's performance that has brought our team to meet standards in various areas required by our government contract. The team failed month after month before I put that together.

Problem is, I am one of the world's worst communicators. I have a "speech hesitancy" issue. I have few issues if I am relaxed or with a familiar topic. But if I am stressed (which is most of the times I have to do these meetings now), it gets really bad. I get stuck with many moments with "word retrieval" or "sentence retrieval" as I'm seeking for the next word or sentence I wanted to say. I feel so envious of people that can talk with a long clear flow without pause.

My boss has been telling me I need to work on this, and that just makes me more aware of it, and makes me more nervous and makes it worse.

He has been telling me and the two other supervisors "I may have to replace some of you! I have discussed this with my boss" He is in love with the other 2 supervisors and always complains about me. Gee, I wonder who is talking about.

Thing is, I don't think is much I can work on. When I was 7 years old I was ill with Encephalitis which is the inflammation of the active tissues of the brain caused by an infection or an autoimmune response. After being in the hospital for the month, I had to learn to speak all over again and spent a lot of time with speech therapists.

I consider myself normal, but not 100% unfortunately. I'm wondering if I should mention my past illness to my boss. I don't want to be looked at differently (not that I"m looked at great now), but I don't want to be a victim. I've never really mentioned this to anyone before.

Should I say anything?






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5 minutes ago, fallendown said:

meeting with individuals during one on one meetings when they need to be reprimanded.

He has been telling me and the two other supervisors "I may have to replace some of you

Sounds like a toxic work culture. However if you have documentation of a disability/speech impairment, they are practicing discrimination.

Go to your physician for an evaluation and speak with a labor attorney.

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I used to struggle with public speaking. So what I did was plan ahead. I prepared sheets of paper with just phrases of important points I needed to make. That way I wasn't reading directly from a paper but rather used the sheets to remind myself of what topics I needed to cover. I still do that sometimes.

I would also take the suggestion made to contact your doctor for documentation of your medical condition. My son suffered damage to his central nervous system and his hands shake as a result. He was let go from a part time job years ago because the business owner thought he was an addict, but he's not. He's got a college degree and a great job now, but sometimes he does need to make his managers aware of his condition.

I hope it all works out for you.

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I find talking at work exhausting. If I were in your situation, I would prepare an agenda with just a few slides. 

Let the slides do most of the talking. 

I would also consider a way to construct the agenda for group meeting where you can delegate much of the talking to your direct reports. 

At one-on-one’s, let your reports do most of the talking. Build their trust by listening, which will create intimacy with your reports. 

Also, put a section in a journal for each report, record note worthy events on each report. Review and reflect. This will help you focus on speaking for only the most important areas. 

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