What do you look for in your managers? Some people like to think their bosses will be easygoing, authoritative, or think a sense of humour is the most important trait they can have. However, the general consensus is that there is one skill that is vital when it comes to effective management: communication.

Being able to easily express what needs to be done, delegate jobs clearly and uncover important information as soon as it is needed all comes under the umbrella of effective communication. These are all qualities you would associate with a good manager.

It is for this reason that a recent survey from recruitment firm Reed found that communication was the most important factor for most people when thinking about the 'ideal manager'. Some 21 per cent of respondents to the poll said this was the most desireable trait.

Others selected such qualities as strong leadership (19 per cent) and fairness (14 per cent). Furthermore, communication came up again when employees were asked to select an ideal manager from a list of famous people. The most frequently chosen were Barack Obama and Richard Branson.

When asked why, 22 per cent said that President Obama's communications skills made him their top choice. This was the second most popular answer after his calmness under pressure, which 36 per cent of participants selected.

Tom Lovell, Reed's managing director, told HR Magazine: "There are some overarching qualities that all of the best leaders will have, but there are some things like a sense of humour and compassion that will come easier to some than others."

Luckily, communications skills are not necessarily something you either do or don't have; you should have no problem training your managers (and those looking to secure the position in the future) in how to communicate better.

An out-of-office training session might be the best way to achieve this. People are more likely to stay focused if they are away from their desk and their current workload, so it is usually a good idea to conduct training in a professional venue away from the office. Doing this could help you improve the communication skills of your management by a large amount.