Improve Leadership Communication Skills

About the author : Kent McGroarty

If you are an office manager or are in any other type of business leadership role, effective communication is key to optimal productivity and workplace harmony. To help you improve leadership communication skills and therefore enjoy working as a more effective, respected team leader, review the following tips.

Focus on Active Listening

Plenty of people listen to others, but it doesn’t mean they really hear them. Active listening, or taking time to truly focus on what the person in front of you is saying, avoids miscommunication issues and the related annoyances. It can take a little time to hone your active listening skills, especially when you’re a business leader pulled in 50 different directions every day. To help you improve this communication skill, try scheduling more one-on-one meetings with your team and blocking out distractions, such as phone email alerts and calls.

When employees feel heard, they are more likely to stay at their respective jobs and work harder every day. Those who do not feel heard are less likely to stay where they are, which creates high turnover issues and related reputation problems.

Make Clarity a Communication Goal

Clear wording, whether in emails, memos, project guidelines, or any other forms of written communication need to be clear. Crystal clear, for that matter. Vague wording does nothing except frustrate your team and create an onslaught of questions. For example, writing “Thursday’s meeting has been rescheduled” is going to confuse everyone, while writing “Thursday’s 10am meeting has been rescheduled for 1pm in [x] meeting room” eliminates all clarity-related questions. The fewer questions of this kind you have to answer, the more time you can spend on work projects and other important tasks on your to-do list.

Stay Transparent

Employees want to know what’s going on with their jobs, whether relating to the company’s overarching goals, new hiring process, recent challenges, or the latest opportunities. Transparency is what employees want, because it helps them feel included instead of on the outside looking in. It also contributes to less tension in the workplace, because team members won’t feel as uncertain, nervous, or anxious. Fewer feelings like these means your workplace will become more harmonious and perhaps more fun. After all, who wants to go to an office or any other work environment they dread?

Remain Open to Feedback

Never wanting to accept feedback is not a way to improve leadership communication skills and enjoy a more productive, tranquil work environment. Make it clear to your team that you are open to feedback, whether in the form of a suggestion box, one-on-one meetings every week, or group meetings where everyone gets a chance to share. You want your team to feel like they can provide feedback without dealing with negative repercussions.

Be Mindful of Your Body Language

Effective communication isn’t just about what you say or write. It’s also about your body language. Crossed arms, clenched fists, lack of eye contact, furrowed brows, and otherwise angry/annoyed/disinterested expressions do not help anyone appear more approachable. What it does do is dissuade people from speaking with you about, well, anything. Communication-friendly body language includes relaxing the hands, arms, and shoulders, smiling, and maintaining eye contact. Being more mindful of your body and whether you are actually looking at the people you are conversing with are the arguably best ways to improve this important type of language. Like other aspects of effective communication, changing your body language can take time, but the results are always worth the effort.

For more about how to improve leadership communication skills, visit Peaceful Leaders Academy today!

About the author : Kent McGroarty