A report from John Baldoni‘s publication Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders, “Leaders need to do more than just stand up and speak. They need to integrate communication into everything they do as leaders so that their communication, both oral and written, emerge from who they are as leaders and within the appropriate cultural context. Leaders who fail in communications will fail to achieve their organizational aims” — John Baldoni, Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders.
I believe, to be able to communicate effectively is one of the best skills you should develop as a leader. It is simply not possible to become a great leader without being a good communicator.
Great Communicators Are Made, Not Born
Many leaders see their teams into chaos and see their effectiveness reduced due to unnecessary friction. Their efforts fail over and over. The big reason behind this is communication. It is at the core of leadership, not just person to person, even on a global level.
If you lack good communication habits, don’t lose hope. Because great communicators are made, not born. Throughout the years, I’ve been spending a little time each day learning essential communication techniques. With practice, you’ll soon discover that you become an excellent communicator. So here I’ve got a few things to remember to be a good communicator.
- Make a Connection
One big challenge is to communicate in a way that what you communicate doesn’t become just another piece of the noise or other things that people hear throughout. That means, be sure when you are communicating with others you are connecting with them.
While we can all communicate, it doesn’t mean we are successfully connecting. Try it and see what happens. If you’re connected, communication will be effective and much easier.
When you speak up first with your team or clients, form an instant connection by making the other person feel valued. Build a verbal, visual, emotional, and intellectual connection. Try it.
2. Choosing the Right Communication Method
As a leader, communicating properly is critically important. While different situations require several ways of communication. For a project involving remote team members, video conferencing or a communication tool helps remote team members to work efficiently. Email is definitely overused.
For in-house projects, face-to-face meetings are often the best method of communication but a quick chat is also important. ProofHub is one internal communication tool for one-on-one chats, group chats, emojis and quick team and client conversations.
Also, you can communicate with the team over discussions where you can talk on any topic, mention people, and loop team members in ongoing conversations on a discussion topic.
No more communication gap. Try ProofHub!
3. No Ego, but Empathy
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” — Peter Drucker
Empathetic communicators shows a level of authenticity and are transparent than those who communicate in ego. Good things will happen when you communicate with empathy and caring.
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s experience, perspective and feelings. Empathetic leaders not just listen but they listen carefully. When you speak, do not be cocky about your expertise. Put forward the audience’s emotions and understand their opinions. Make sure you understand how they feel in their shoes not how you would feel in their shoes.
4. Take Off Your “Corporate Hat”
Wearing the corporate hat will make it difficult to tackle the unique challenges that come with being the leader. Put on your real person hat — “be real”. When you speak wearing corporate hat, it is hollow and lacks real meaning. This will make your employees understand and care about the direction in which you are trying to take the project or your company.
5. Reach Out to People Directly
Leaders are in the position to show they care by asking probing questions and listening actively to understand the perspective of audience. Ask your employees what their thoughts are. Ask them regularly — in person, over chat, email, etc. don’t presume everyone is on the same page as you are. Different people have different comfort levels of communicating. Find the best for each one of them.
6. Avoid Silos
Silo mindset is a mindset when certain team members do not wish to share information with others in the same company. When such groups or environment start to form — silo themselves in the name of privacy, security, or some other reason. Silo mentality will destroy trust, cut off communication, and foster complacency. Avoid it because this will further stop you from inviting non-group members to discussion, meetings, or lunch. Break down silo mentality by a unified vision of team collaboration, work towards a common goal using a collaboration tool, work, and train together.
Effective communication is hard, but not impossible. You can definitely make changes in your communication habits and behavior that lead to compound results down the road.
Do these things and you’ll drastically reduce the communication barriers for your team to do their best work and for you to do what you are mean to do.
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