It goes without saying that good communication skills are essential if you’re in a leadership role. For most leaders, the biggest part of the day is spent interacting with others doing things leading or participating in meetings, delivering presentations, giving performance reviews and speaking up for needed changes. Think of your communication skills as superpowers. Consider the following ways that leaders with good communication skills can be effective in the workplace.
Earning Trust and Respect
Good communication skills allow you to say what you mean and mean what you say, which is imperative for earning the respect of your staff and any others you interact with. Communicate with transparency so that your team can see that you aren’t trying to hide things from them. Unpredictable mood swings or outbursts can quickly make people reluctant to try to communicate with you, so controlling your own emotions is another important aspect of earning trust and respect.
Motivating and Inspiring
As a leader, you should have a good grasp on the vision of your organization and you’ll need the ability to communicate this vision with your team. When you use your superpower of communication to show excitement and enthusiasm, it can be motivational to others. Project a positive attitude, inject humor where you can and encourage others to meet their potential.
Providing Clear Instructions
Leaders with good communication skills have many opportunities to provide clear instructions. Communicating with clarity helps people understand not only what needs to be done but why it needs to be done and what tasks should take priority. When the instructions you provide can be clearly understood, there’s no confusion surrounding deadlines or on who’s responsible for what. Keep team members informed on where to get additional information if needed.
Communication is a two-way street and doesn’t just involve a leader’s ability to get their point across. Listening to what others have to say is an important superpower. When people try to communicate with you, give them your undivided attention. Show sincere interest by nodding your head where appropriate and asking questions of anything that needs to be clarified. Listen to their words, but also pay attention to facial expressions and body language. Repeat back to them what you’ve understood them to say. This gives them a chance to let you know if you’ve misunderstood any of what they want you to know.
Having Difficult Conversations
Leaders need the ability to have difficult conversations. Problems with staff members who are disruptive or aren’t doing their best have the be addressed either during a performance review or when poor performance occurs so it can be corrected before it worsens. The results you get after a difficult conversation are often affected by your demeanor and choice of words. With practice, your ability to calmly handle difficult situations will improve. You’ll get your point across while treating the other person with respect and allowing them to ask questions.
Acting as a Mediator Between Employees in Conflict
There are times when coworkers aren’t getting along, and when that happens, the situation can’t be allowed to snowball. The more that a conflict at a workplace intensifies, the more likely other staff members may be affected. Morale and productivity may both suffer. Mediating disputes between employees who are in conflict may end up being one of your superpowers as you keep the peace while playing a neutral role and brainstorming solutions with everyone involved.
Effective leaders understand that there’s always room for improvement in communication skills and other leadership skills. Not every conversation will go as planned and every new encounter provides an opportunity to learn something new.
Reach out to Peaceful Leaders Academy for information on leadership skills training.