5 effective communication traits all great leaders have
A real detriment to any business is a lack of communication or ineffective communication. You and your staff need to be able to say what you need to, when you need to, in a positive and efficient manner.
A natural communicator is born, but they can also be made. Not everyone comes with the built-in ability to be confident, respectful and direct when needed, but there are ways to teach yourself and your staff how to do just that.
Effective communication must start at the top – communication and leadership are inextricably tied together, because how can you inspire and guide others if you can’t communicate in an authentic and credible way?
Great leaders have 5 effective communication traits:
- Do as you say – This is about trust, which is at the forefront of effective leadership. Your actions must align with your words. If you communicate to your staff that you want something done a certain way, or that you expect something from them, you must be able to demonstrate what you say with your actions. For instance, if you tell your staff that they must follow a specific process, you must also follow that process. You are the role model for your employees and they look to you for the correct course of action.
- Simplifying complexities – Any industry is complex and information is being thrown at your staff constantly. An effective leader needs to be able to simplify the complexity of the businesses and find a streamlined approach to deal with things. You also need to be able to voice your thoughts in a clear and concise manner so that your staff and customers can grasp and act upon it efficiently. This reduces waste in the company and creates a more relaxed vibe for your staff, devoid of stress.
- Find your voice – Effective leaders know how to talk to their staff in a way that doesn’t make them feel inferior. Sure, you’re the boss and they know that, but you also want them to feel comfortable coming to you with any issues. Let your personality come through rather than just using ‘corporate speak’ because you think it is more appropriate. That is not to say proper grammar and language aren’t important, but concentrate on being a real and approachable person. Be genuine and people will respect you.
- Get visible – Make yourself known to people, don’t just be the person behind the computer sending emails and memos. Pick up the phone or go visit someone at their desk if you want to speak to them. Whilst email serves a purpose and tracks conversations, it is also beneficial to speak to someone in person, especially if it is a subject that could come across wrong via email. You want to make sure you are getting your point across and it also shows you as a real person to your staff. Make sure you take the time to walk around your office, or factory, or shop floor, so that your staff can see that you are engaged and care about their work.
- Listen with your eyes and ears – This is about reading body language as much as it is listening to your staff. It is easy to get your message out to your staff, but it is important to note how they react to it. You need to be able to tune in to both what you see and hear. You need to be able to read between the lines and see nonverbal clues. Sometimes a person’s body language can speak louder than anything they are saying.
Do you think you display any of these traits? If not, think about how you can work on incorporating them into your leadership style.
Effective communication is a vital tool for any business owner or leader. Your success at getting your point across can mean the difference between sealing a deal and missing out on an opportunity, as well as developing your staff so that they can operate in the most effective and efficient way possible.