A leader is someone who drives positive, incremental change by empowering those around them to work toward a common goal. If you want to be an effective leader, you must be a good communicator. 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. For leaders, it’s what enables them to rally teams around a shared vision, empower employees, build trust, and successfully navigate organizational change. Here are a few pointers to give you a heads-up on what outcomes come to fruition as a result of effective communication:
Effective leaders know when to speak and, more importantly, when to listen. Show that you care by soliciting your employees’ opinions, ideas, and feedback. And be an active participant in the conversation when they share something. Ask questions, elaborate, and take notes. It’s important to stay in the moment and avoid interruptions. 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.
According to a survey by the American Management Association, more than a third of senior managers, executives and employees say they “very little” know what’s going on at their company. Transparency can do a lot to break down this communication barrier. By speaking openly about the company’s goals, opportunities, and challenges, leaders can build trust in their teams and create an environment where employees feel empowered to share their ideas and collaborate. . Simply admitting mistakes encourages experimentation and creates a haven for proactive problem-solving. Each individual should understand the role they play in the company’s success. The more transparent a leader is, the easier it is for employees to make connections.
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.
A leader is someone who drives positive, incremental change by empowering those around them to work toward a common goal. The most powerful tool a manager has for this is communication. Communication is central to effective leadership. If you want to influence and inspire your team, you need to understand how others perceive you through empathy, transparency, and verbal and non-verbal cues. To improve your communication skills and become a better leader, first, assess your effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. Then create a leadership development plan to set goals, take initiative, and track progress.