A leader is someone who inspires others to work together toward a similar objective and who gradually brings about positive change. Being an effective leader requires having strong communication skills. In fact, business success depends on it. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit report (pdf), poor communication can lead to low morale, meeting performance goals, and even lost sales. Another study found that poor communication could cost large businesses an average of $64.2 million annually, while smaller businesses risk losing $420,000 annually. But effective communication goes beyond revenue. It gives leaders the ability to empower employees, foster a culture of trust, and successfully manage organisational transformation.
Here are three ways to improve communication skills
Effective leaders are able to balance speaking and listening at the appropriate times. Asking your colleagues for their thoughts, suggestions, and feedback communicates your concern. And when they share something, they take part in the discussion actively. Take notes, provide details, and ask questions. Remaining present and avoiding disruptions are crucial. Pay attention to what your employees and their employees say. To do that, you need to eliminate all distractions like constantly ringing phones or checking incoming emails.
More than a third of senior managers, executives, and employees claim they know “very little” about what is happening at their organisation, according to a survey by the American Management Association. Transparency can do a lot to break down this communication barrier. Leaders may foster a culture where coworkers feel free to express their ideas and collaborate by being transparent about the company’s objectives, opportunities, and difficulties. Simply acknowledging flaws encourages experimentation and establishes a secure environment for proactive problem-solving. Each person should be aware of their contribution to the company’s success. Employees are more likely to form connections with a leader who is more open.
Bring up details when communicating with employees. Define the desired outcome of your project or strategic initiative and clarify what you want to achieve at the end of each milestone. If the goal is not met, ask how you can further simplify or clarify your message or provide assistance. The more clarity you have, the less confusion there will be about priorities. Employees understand what they’re working towards and feel more involved in the process.
Communication is the manager’s most effective tool in this situation. Excellent leadership depends on effective communication. Understanding how people see you through empathy, honesty, and verbal and non-verbal indicators will help you inspire and motivate your team. Assess your effectiveness and pinpoint your areas for growth before you can improve your leadership abilities. Then create a leadership development plan to set goals, take the initiative, and track progress.