One of the most important characteristics of good leaders is the ability to communicate effectively. When you’re in a leadership role, you continually interact with people at many different levels. You need to be able to think clearly, listen to what’s being shared by others and express information and ideas in many different settings. There are many ways that effective communication and leadership are intertwined. It’s very difficult to be a good leader without communication skills.
Leaders are expected to interact with many different types of people and adaptability is a requirement for effective communication and leadership. On any given day, you may need to communicate with employees, supervisors, investors, vendors and customers. Your communication style may need to adapt to the audience you’re speaking to.
Spend some time thinking about how well you’re navigating interactions with people in different roles and whether you need to be more adaptable in some situations. Your communication with others needs to go beyond just relaying information. Enthusiasm and good storytelling skills can inspire and motivate others while self-confidence can help to influence others.
Whether you’re communicating with others verbally or in writing, authenticity is very important for effective communication and leadership. No matter who you’re speaking to, using your own voice and personality matters. To be successful in your role, you need to be in touch with your own beliefs and values, and your values shouldn’t be compromised in order to be aligned with the goals and visions of the organization.
Be honest and as open as you can in your communications. Those you’re communicating with can often tell when you’re being inauthentic, and when that happens, trust can break down and employees can end up disloyal and demotivated. It can be very difficult to communicate effectively when there’s lack of trust.
A good way to improve leadership skills is to work on increasing your self-awareness. Being in touch with your own strengths and weaknesses can serve as the foundation of effective communication and leadership. Is your approach to communication leading to interest and engagement from others? Are you projecting a confident demeanor?
Consider the effectiveness of your choice of words and body language. During a presentation, avoid speaking in a monotone or using corporate speak. Work on communicating with clarity and enthusiasm and on projecting optimism and a positive attitude. Keep in mind that actions often speak louder than words.
Being effective in a leadership role also requires the ability and willingness to listen to others. In many situations, leaders need to listen more than they talk, such as when receiving feedback or when there’s a conflict between coworkers. Leaders that don’t listen when employees try to share concerns or offer suggestions aren’t being as effective as they could be. Encourage staff to speak up and ask questions.
Many leaders don’t listen as well as they think they do. Listening requires giving another person your undivided attention and paying attention closely enough that you can repeat what you’ve heard to them. Show others you’re genuinely interested in hearing what they have to say. Let others speak without interruption. For many leaders, listening skills require practice.
Attaining effective communication and leadership skills requires being open to learning and practicing whenever possible. The best leaders recognize that the ability to lead and motivate others can always be improved. Different interactions offer new opportunities to improve your ability to communicate with others. Being teachable and interested in learning new skills and improving skills you already have is a great way to set an example for your staff.
Reach out to Peaceful Leaders Academy to learn more about leadership training certification.