The ability to communicate well is an extremely important leadership skill. Whether you are already in a leadership position or are working towards the goal, consider adopting these communication skills for leaders now.
1) Practice Listening and Encourage Input
Being able to listen well is crucial for effective leadership communication. By learning to actively listen to your team or your subordinates, you will gain a clear understanding of the challenge at hand and understand their point of view. This will allow you to come up with effective solutions.
Besides listening, encourage input from your team. When you create a plan, make sure that you are allowing others to contribute their ideas and voice their concerns. When you make planning a group activity and incorporate the ideas of others into the plan, it lets them know they are valued and that their input is important.
2) Know Your Audience
In order to convey your message efficiently, you need to know your audience. What works for a small group project over email or even during a lunch meeting might not work for a presentation in front of corporate executives. Understanding your audience will allow you to choose the means of communication and the presentation style that will be most persuasive.
How do you get to know your audience? Most of the time, you know whom you’ll be speaking to ahead of time so you can do a bit of preliminary research.
3) Get Comfortable with Different Modes of Communication
As someone in a leadership position, you will need to learn how to communicate effectively in a variety of ways, including spoken and written communication. Evaluate which modes of communication need improvement and work diligently to become better. This might mean improving your ability to write an email or learning tips and tricks for how to speak in front of an audience. If you have someone you trust, consider enlisting a practice partner to help you hone your skills.
4) Encourage Feedback and Act On It
Make sure that your team or group knows they can come to you with suggestions for improvement and any concerns. Once you have feedback, make sure that you are implementing the suggestions and check in with your team to ensure that their concerns have been met in a satisfactory manner. This skill puts listening and action together.
5) Be Prepared to Start Tough Conversations
When a conversation is unpleasant, you might want to try to avoid the topic and hope that someone else will take initiative. As a leader, you do not have that luxury. Instead, you should be the first person to tackle a difficult conversation in a way that is constructive and compassionate.
Make it a point to be the first one to start all tough conversations and to do so with solutions in mind. Remember, however, that your team might also offer possible solutions. By starting the conversation, you are maintaining control and ensuring that the situation does not escalate.
If you are looking to become more effective at leadership communication and conflict resolution, call Pollack Peacebuilding today.