Poor leadership can be the catalyst for many different problems in the workplace such as high turnover, conflict and confusion. One of the top reasons people leave a company is that they are dissatisfied because of ineffective leaders. At the other end of the spectrum, excellent leaders have the ability to motivate, inspire and create unity. If you’re committed to being the best leader you can be, consider these 7 communication tips for leaders.
Know Who You’re Talking To
The way you approach communication may vary in different situations. It’s important to be able to adapt your communication style based on who you’re talking to. In other words, know your target audience. The approach taken when communicating with employees isn’t the same as the approach you take when trying to convince senior management you need additional resources.
In the workplace, people look to a leader to keep them informed and to deliver information using honest, clear communication. Provide regular updates and share what you know about upcoming challenges and opportunities sooner rather than later. Transparency can help to build trust and break down the communication barrier. Communicate sincerely using your own voice rather than corporate speak.
Be Visible and Available
A good way to communicate availability to your team is by scheduling regular one-on-one meetings where each staff member is free to communicate their questions or concerns. Your team should know how to get in touch with you if needed, not just at scheduled times. When you’re in your office, as often as possible, the door should be open. Being available to be approached for ideas, questions or challenges helps to build trust and respect. Look for opportunities to be more visible in your organization.
Encourage Communication within the Team
Regular team meetings are important to share information about new developments and policy changes and find out if there are work-related problems that need to be solved. Let your team know you are interested in hearing their input and ideas. When you’re sharing information with them, ask for feedback and encourage discussion. Initiate team-building exercises to encourage team members to work together and to get to know and trust each other. Even if some or all of your staff is working remotely, connect with each other in virtual meetings.
Think Before You Speak
Whether you’re putting on a presentation or having a one-on-one discussion, choose words carefully and avoid blurting things out without thinking first. This is especially important if you’re trying to help resolve differences between employees that are in conflict. When leading a meeting, deliver your message with clarity. Get right to the point and keep in mind that attention spans are short.
People want to be seen, heard and acknowledged for their efforts. Showing appreciation to staff is a great way to boost morale and show that hard work is noticed and appreciated. Be empathetic about any challenges people are facing both inside and outside work. Leaders who neglect to show appreciation communicate a message that there’s no point in hard work or coming up with innovative ideas.
Listening skills must be included in any list of communication tips for leaders. Effective leaders know when they need to listen to what others are saying. Active listening involves paying close attention, taking notes, asking questions and giving feedback to clarify anything that could be misunderstood. Listening skills include not only paying attention to the words people are saying but also their facial expressions and body language.
The most effective leaders recognize the importance of continually working on leadership skills, especially communication skills. Reach out to Peaceful Leaders Academy for leadership training or coaching.