A leader cannot be successful if they do not know how to communicate effectively
It is as simple as that. Even Richard Branson said,” Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess”.
Take a moment to think about what causes the most issues in your workplace. Can you guess what I am going to say?
Miscommunication! Or a lack of communication altogether…
Most problems can be solved with some good, honest and open conversations. But if you are a leader your communication skills are absolutely vital to also inspire your employees, keep them happy and engaged and dazzle your customers and investors.
Some people are born with the gift of the gab but even if you aren’t, this is a skill that can be developed. A plus is that this skill can also be carried over into all areas of your life, not just at work.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Why do your employees get up in the morning?
If you want engaged employees they need to know the answer to this question and as a leader, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have communicated your visions of the business in a way that makes them as passionate as you are.
If you can communicate the goals of the whole business well enough that your employees are flying out of bed to get to work, then that will filter down to communicating smaller individual goals too.
- Are you a Darth Vader?
If you want to be an authentic leader, you need feedback from your employees. What do they really think of you? You can read more about being an authentic leader here and read some tips for getting feedback here. If you want to get that feedback you need two things; a good relationship with your employee and good comms skills in order to start that conversation and then investigate it further by asking the right questions.
- Are you a good person to work for?
If you want engaged employees they need to respect you and enjoy working for you. By working on building positive relationships with them, they will undoubtedly perform better and will be more engaged. Did you know that 85% of your success is due to your personality? No really, it’s true. You can read about that here.
The video below is a TED talk by Celeste Headlee called, “10 ways to have a better conversation”.
Her 10 tips are:
- Don’t multitask – In other words, focus on the conversation you are having right then and don’t think about what you are going to have for dinner later.
- Don’t pontificate – A conversation involves other people who will disagree with you, think differently and will have their thoughts…Respect that and you’ll be fine!
- Use open-ended questions – Instead of asking straightforward questions like, “Did you like that?” ask them about how they feel or think about something. You will get a much more in-depth response if you ask, “what did you think about that?”
- Go with the flow – If something pops into your head, get it out there quickly. If you try to remember it and wait for them to completely finish talking, the chances are you haven’t actually taken anything in!
- If you don’t know, say so – If you aren’t an expert on something, don’t claim to be.
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs – All experiences are different and individual and more importantly, it’s not about you.
- Try not to repeat yourself – This is a tough one but you must try!
- Stay out of the weeds – Don’t bother trying to remember all those little details like names and dates! It can stunt a conversation and really, does it add anything?
- Listen – Buddha said something like, “If your mouth is open, you’re not learning.”
- Be brief