A great leader understands the importance of communication. Communication skills can undoubtedly be learned to make success easier. No matter how big or small your business or organisation, you need to excel at communication for the sake of your business.
Does It Matter As Long As The Job Gets Done?
In short, the answer is yes. Poor communication leads to low morale, lost sales and missed goals and that hits your bottom line. On the other hand, get communication right and you will rally teams, empower employees and build trust amongst colleagues.
What Are Essential Skills?
- Active Listening– hearing and understanding what is being said to you. Knowing when to speak and when to listen, ask questions and listen to what is said. Employees who feel heard, have a chance to express ideas and give feedback feel more valued, are more actively engaged, leading to higher morale and productivity. Keep your focus on the employee and eliminate any distractions. If you want to win them over, they need to know they are an essential part of the company structure.
- Identifying your leadership style and adapting your communication style–you need to understand how employees perceive you and tailor your interactions to influence them to respond. Whilst you may feel you are an authoritative leader, this may not be the best approach to win over a strong employee seeking autonomy. The ability to adapt your communication style will make a difference.
- Transparency – Leaders build trust through an environment where employees understand the company goals and challenges. Every individual understands the importance of their role within the company and transparent leaders helps make this connection. 5 Powerful things happen when a leader is transparent; this Forbes article shows changes a leader can make to get results.
- Empathy– this quite possibly should have been listed first, as it is a leadership skill must for success. Acknowledging employees feelings and experiences will help them feel valued. Showing you may not be able to change things, but you hear them will build a more robust, more productive culture that every leader needs for success.
- Body Language– How you carry yourself can undo thousands of words. Make eye contact and take control of your mouth. Know when to give a smile or grimace and convey warmth with your movements.
- Questioning style– Practice asking open-ended questions and how to elicit thoughtful and thorough responses. Clarify and probe when you need to. In doing so, you will get more considered answers and clarity on what is required for all to succeed. Closed questions will shut down opinions and employees feeling that they have no right t be heard.
- Feedback– Ask for it and be prepared to act on it. If you never implement changes from feedback or are not transparent about why changes cant be made, you will lose employee faith. Let employees know you hear them and inform them of any progress you can or have made if you want them to take you seriously.
Alongside the tips above, we recommend you check out these top 5 leadership books of all time to give you even more strategies for communicating well within your business.