Communication is the most important skill any leader can possessRichard Branson
Think about how communication affects you at work.
- Most issues that arise in a workplace are from lack of communication or miscommunication
- Most of these problems can be solved with honest and open communication
- Leaders need to communicate the vision to inspire employees
- Leaders need to communicate to their stakeholders (customers, investors, etc.)
Communication is a skill that you can develop and become better at.
Building up your communication skills will help you in all areas of your life, both personally and professionally.
But people don’t often spend a lot of time developing their communication skills, which is a real shame.
As leaders, communicating with your employees is one of the most important parts of your job, and communicating properly is a key skill to develop if you want happy and engaged employees.
Why Communication Is Important
Communication is a skill that will help you become a better leader, plain and simple. Here are a few reasons why good communication is so important.
It Helps You Build Relationships With Employees
One of the keys to having engaged employees is to build a positive relationship with them. The more you get to know your employees, the more they’ll respect you, and the easier managing them will be.
You need effective communication to build those relationships.
It Helps You Communicate Your Vision
Good communication is key to making sure that employees are as passionate as you are about the vision of the organization.
Even single tasks can be performed better if you’re good at communicating the goal or reason behind it. So many mistakes in the workplace are because a task or project was misunderstood or poorly communicated.
It Helps You Build Your Personal Brand
How you communicate also helps how other people perceive you. When you communicate well, you’re able to command respect from others, which is incredibly important for leaders.
Employees can quickly become disengaged if you fail to communicate important aspects of their jobs.
It Helps You Collect Feedback
Good communication helps you collect feedback in two ways – initially and digging deeper.
You need to know what to say to employees to be able to solicit honest feedback from them and remove any fear that they have.
Once they’re giving you feedback, you need to know exactly which questions to ask and how to ask them in order to dig deeper into the feedback and discover where the true problems are.
Tips For Better Communication
I’m going to share some tips so that you can build up your communication skills easily, but first…
This TED talk will help you understand why communication is so important and offer some great tips to help you communicate better:
Here are some tips for better communication.
Focus Exclusively On The Person You’re Talking To
An important tip is to give your attention and focus to the person or people you’re talking to. Don’t be checking emails or texting while you’re talking. Not only is it rude, but your message won’t be received as well.
Show whoever you’re talking to the respect they deserve.
Be Careful Of Your Body Language
It’s amazing how much of your communication is nonverbal. Things like tone of voice and body language can make a huge difference in how your message is perceived.
Make sure your arms aren’t crossed, you’re looking directly at the person, you’re standing up straight (or sitting straight), and that your body is facing them completely.
One of the best tips for effective communication is to avoid filler words like “um” and “like”.
A simple way to help with this is to speak slowly and clearly. Make sure you enunciate what you’re saying, and if someone asks you a question take a few seconds to think about a response.
Speaking slowly and clearly will help your message be heard better.
Ask Follow Up Questions
A lot of the issues with communication come from misunderstanding.
An easy way to avoid this is to ask follow up questions or repeat what the person said.
“Just to confirm, you want me to do….” will help clarify most situations.
Repeating what the person just said is also a great way to show them that you’re listening and to clarify the situation.
Listen Very Attentively
The truth is, most of us are terrible at listening. We rarely are able to stay calm, digest what’s being said, and think about the root behind what’s being said.
We often interrupt, think about what we’re going to say next, or drift off into some thought about something unrelated.
Part of effective communication is learning how to truly listen.
The best leaders understand that effective communication is about being authentic.
Be truthful, your employees are able to tell if you’re being authentic or not, and your message will come across so much smoother.
When you’re being authentic, you don’t have to try too hard because you’re being real.
Any Communication Tips For Us?
Let us know your best communication tips in the comments below!