As a leader, maintaining quality communication with your staff is one of the keys to a productive, healthy work environment. To help you hone your abilities in this regard, take a moment to review examples of leaders with poor communication skills. You’ll get an idea of what not to do, which makes it easier to know what to do.
Never Asking Questions
Leaders who never ask questions do themselves a serious disservice. They might think they don’t have to ask because of their positions in their respective companies, but in refraining, they are missing vital information. For example, say an office manager received the news that certain essential supplies won’t make it to the workplace for another week. Without inquiring why the delay occurred, they might frustrate their team who uses the supplies and what to know “what the holdup is.” Lack of inquiries can also result in repeat problems that stress the team out even more. By learning what caused the problem and providing the staff with a detailed explanation, the manager quells anxiety and keeps everyone in the proverbial loop.
Waiting, Not Listening
There’s a big ol’ difference between hearing and listening. Truly listening to someone means you aren’t waiting to talk again, but instead are absorbing their words and formulating a thoughtful response. It can take time and practice to really listen, but putting the work in is invaluable. Listening to an office or other workplace team helps them feel respected and valued, which keeps the communication lines open and reduces high turnover rates. High turnovers never do anything for company reputations, as they signal internal problems that have yet to be corrected.
Ignoring Bad or Challenging News
Receiving unpleasant news about an employee, member of upper management, client, or any other information having to do with the company is never fun. However, as with any other issue, ignoring the problem does not make it go away. What it does do is cause the issue to escalate. No matter what the leader’s role is in dealing with the news, they must face the challenge and work to find a viable solution.
Leaders with poor communication skills can ramble, sometimes for what seems like hours at a time, even though it’s only been a few minutes. Some people ramble simply because they like to hear themselves talk, while others flounder because their diction skills are lacking or they have anxiety about public speaking. Others ramble by talking about their own experiences at length, such as saying, “Something like that happened to me! It all started when…”. Taking leadership communication classes is one of the ways around this problem, because it helps leaders speak more succinctly. As a result, they will not gain “rambler” reputations that can make employees less likely to talk with them. Workplace communication as a whole can suffer, as can productivity.
Another hallmark of poor leadership communication skills is being sentences with qualifiers. Typical examples include “Don’t be mad, but…”, “Don’t get offended, however…”, and “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…” These and similar statements generally make people defensive, because they know they probably will not like what they are about to hear. Overusing qualifiers is a surefire way to annoy an entire workforce and deal with the repercussions, such as lack of managerial respect, low productivity, high turnover rates, and (naturally) poor communication.
Learning about these and other examples of leaders with poor communication skills gives you the extra edge you need to be successful in the workplace. For more about healthy workplace communication and conflict resolution, visit Peaceful Leaders Academy today!