Being a leader is more than directing a group of people towards common goals. It is motivating those people and encouraging them to go further and be better. For that, the leader’s communication skills are vital.
Effective leadership only exists with effective communication. A leader needs to communicate with many people at different organizational levels. They need to make the message clear for each of these people.
Leadership Positions – true communicators
When a company is hiring a manager, a set of skills is considered for the position. Communication skills are always present. In fact, managers spend between 70-90% of their time communicating. Either with their team or others, such as costumers and investors.
A good manager has to be responsible and creative, but more importantly, a source of motivation and support. Would that be possible without good communication skills and efficient interaction?
A study by Weisman Success Resources showed that 70% of business leaders that are not happy with their team performance believe they have to improve the way they communicate. Corresponding to this, 70% of the leaders that are happy with their team attribute the success to their communication skills.
Good Communication Practices for Leadership
There is an undeniable connection between communication and effective leadership.
As a leader, it is essential that you know your team (knowing your audience is vital to a compelling message) since each group requires a different communication style. Yet, there is a group of practices that are critical for effective communication.
Establish a constant flow of communication with your team. Use different media to reach them and be open to new ideas and opinions on the projects. Encourage and ease communication.
Clear and Simple
This is the number one rule in all types of communication. If your audience can’t understand, the information is lost. Simplify and be direct to what you want, without dumping tons of information on your team.
Avoid sarcasm or other speech styles that may lead to confusion or discomfort.
A good leader must be willing to listen to the team and accept their feedback. Encourage them to share ideas and present their own solutions for the problems discussed.
Also, make sure that the team understood your message. If the message wasn’t clear, find a different way to communicate it. This knowledge is vital to avoid uncertainty in the group.
Telling stories is a trend among speakers for a good reason. When you tell a story, you help your audience to visualize and better assimilate what you’re saying. It’s remembered easier and helps to simplify complicated messages through example. Whenever possible, illustrate your speeches with relevant, engaging stories. It will help your audience to keep your messages.
Practice what you preach
If you say one thing and act in a different way, your credibility is lost. Your actions must match your words. Make it clear what you want them to do, even if you aren’t using your words. People will readily trust you and follow you.
Most of the time, you will not be speaking to a single person, but to a group of people with different ideas, aspirations, and personalities.
When talking to a group, you can’t forget their individuality. Keep eye contact with each one of them, acknowledge their contribution to the project, or the team. By valuing their ideas, you make every person in the room feel important, and a part of the team.
Inspire and Motivate
Good leaders inspire. They communicate their vision, ideas, and ideologies to a team. Your team will look at you as a model and tend to emulate your behavior. An authentic, trustworthy leader will lead them effectively towards the goals.
Excellent communication improves productivity. It’s the first step to become a good leader. You’ll be encouraging the group, motivate them in the direction of your vision. Your communication skills are your best tool.