Good communication skills are at the heart of effective leadership. If you’re in a leadership role, your ability to communicate is one of the top skills you need to succeed in your role. Communication training for leaders is a great way to improve your effectiveness as a leader. Better communication can bring about better unity, motivation and clarity between the members of your team. What skills should communication training for leaders include?
If there’s one skill you need above all others, it’s the ability to listen. Listening isn’t the same thing as hearing. As a leader, you need to not only hear what others are saying to you, but you also need to listen carefully for the underlying message they’re trying to communicate.
Practice active listening, which means asking questions and rephrasing what was said to make sure you’ve heard correctly. When someone is speaking to you, give them your full attention. Avoid other distractions such as your cell phone or emails.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
In any role, there are times you’ll have to give feedback and times you’ll have to receive it. Positive and encouraging feedback can help you or those on your team to feel appreciated or to understand why and how to make meaningful improvements.
Not all feedback is positive, and communicating tough feedback is an art that communication training can help you to learn and practice. If team members become hostile or emotional, it’s important to keep your own emotions under control. Working with a mentor or coach is a great way to improve giving and receiving feedback.
Work on paying attention to non-verbal communication, which include clues from others as well as those you may not realize you’re sending. In your own body language, you should make eye contact and sit up straight with your shoulders open. Watch those you’re talking to, and look for signals like facial expressions, crossed arms, downcast eyes and leaning forward or back.
Non-verbal cues are always being sent but may not always be picked up. Communication skills training can help you improve your understanding of non-verbal communication which includes both the cues that you’re sending and the clues others are sending you.
Clarity and Volume
Clarity counts in both written and verbal communication. It’s important to be able to clearly communicate what you want from your team and also to be able to communicate with other departments or senior management. Say what you mean and be direct.
Part of the ability to speak clearly involves tone and volume. If you tend to speak too softly and are not heard, you’ll need to work on adjusting your speaking voice so that you can be heard in a variety of settings. Talking too loudly may seem rude, especially if your voice drowns out what others are trying to say.
Another thing to consider is your tone of voice and whether you sound respectful and encouraging or sarcastic and condescending. Are you presenting yourself with confidence? Communication training can help you to become more aware of the volume, tone and clarity you’re using and what may need to change.
Benefits of Communication Training for Leaders
Ongoing training is the best way to improve leadership skills and keep existing skills sharp. Communication training can contribute to team unity, improve engagement, reduce work conflicts and help team members feel respected and appreciated.
When expectations are more clearly communicated verbally and in writing, productivity improves. There’s always room for improvement of communication skills, and as leaders become better communicators, they also become better leaders.
Reach out to learn more about Peaceful Leaders Club.