Like raising a child, it takes a village to make sure that a startup will become successful. Effective leadership communication is vital to this undertaking ihat will cascade throughout the organization, your investors, strategic partners and customers.
Startups have a vision and mission at the core of its existence. If this is not consistently effectively communicated throughout the organization, the momentum to success and growth will not be sustained. According to statistics gathered by Inc., Magazine, an estimated $37 billion has been lost by companies because of poor leadership communication styles. With more than 30 million U.S. small businesses, and just over 12 million having 20 or more employees, that equates to more than $1.45 million in lost revenue per company with 20 or more employees.
Impact of Ineffective Leadership Communication
Just a few of the most common failures of poor leadership communication styles include:
- Lack of transparency: When leaders hide things, do not say what they mean they develop an atmosphere of mistrust throughout the organization.
- Not admitting mistakes. Ineffective leaders do not admit when they have made a mistake or accept constructive criticism. This attitude paints the leader as a ‘know-it-all’ and creates an atmosphere of fear throughout the organization.
- Failure to provide clear direction: Leaders who provide ambiguous or unclear instructions or direction, cannot set their start, company, organization or government, on a solid path to success.
- Withholding information: This poor leadership communication style trait produces very similar consequences to the trait above. When leaders withhold key information from employees, the employee is unable to perform their best and get the job done.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is just one example of what can happen through poor leadership communication. The order to open certain checkpoints to allow East German Citizens to visit West Germany was supposed to begin on November 17, 1989. But thanks to poor and ineffective leadership communication, the order was interpreted as being effective immediately on November 9, causing a mad rush of East Germans wanting to go to West Germany, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Benefits of Effective Leadership Communication
The benefits of having an effective leadership communication style are many. A few of these include:
- Building trust;
- Preventing problems from happening in the first place;
- Quicker and more efficient resolution of problems when they do occur;
- Provides employees and stakeholders with both clarity and direction;
- It builds stronger relationships throughout the organization, with partners, and with strategic partners;
- Increases confidence and engagement among employees and throughout the organization;
- Productivity is improved; and
- Effective leadership communication promotes stronger team building among employees and across departments, throughout the organization.
Simple Ways You can Improve Your Leadership Communication Style
Effective leadership communication is essential to running a consistently high performing, sustainably profitable company or organization. When you apply effective leadership style principles, the problem of ambiguity and unnecessary guessing what to do next can be eliminated altogether. Below, you will find just a few ways you can improve your leadership communication style.
Effective leadership communication requires open, honest and free communication. Developing this trait requires the development of strong listening skills across all levels of the organization. Each person within the organization should feel free to communicate with persons at all levels to facilitate the flow of information and ideas throughout the company. Technology has vastly improved to enable this. From instant messaging programs that can be installed within the office to freely available social media applications for field personnel, there is really no excuse not to communicate well in this digital landscape.
The benefits of cross collaboration are immense for the productivity of startups, businesses and organizations of all sizes. Effective cross-collaboration creates a culture of transparency and helps build teamwork among all the members of the organization. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, a jump of 25% has been observed in companies when employees socialize or communicate. This amounts to $1.3 trillion in annual returns of investment. You can facilitate cross-collaboration by including all stakeholders in the planning process and clarifying all roles and responsibilities Leaders are encouraged to initiate communication that engages all persons involved in the project and regularly hold follow-up meetings or maintain regular communication, providing progress updates.
Centralized Workspace Communication
Avoid the pitfalls of ambiguity or miscommunication by utilizing technology platforms in the workplace that allow everyone to easily communicate with one another in real-time. This can also help track the conversations and progress of teams, especially if they are working on group projects or working to meet tight deadlines.
The Essence of Effective Communication
In addition to the tips above, an effective leadership communication approach is to advocate the right blend of character and perspective. Creativity should be encouraged in team discussions to accelerate collaborations. Facilitate discussions and let employees connect to increase productivity.
Leaders should also be decisive in making critical decisions but at the same time try to get feedback from employees when situations permit them. There must also be flexibility to adapt to different personality types: there are employees who are more efficient in their outputs when tasks are communicated directly to the point and there are those who appreciate a warmer and more relaxed environment.
Leadership communication is a valuable component of any successful startup, established business or any organization. In particular, effective leadership communication supports a well-managed, productive and successful business or organization. Effective leaders should take advantage of modern communication tools and strategies to make sure everyone is on the same page towards the road to success.