Strong leadership communication skills are critically important for professional growth. It is a well-known fact that being a great communicator is important in all areas of life, particularly in your professional career.
Leadership communication skills help leaders to better understand others while enabling them to build trust and respect among their followers and peers. People with exceptional leadership communication skills also help foster work environments where creative ideas and problem-solving flourish. Strong, effective leadership communication skills are also essential to inspiring others and motivating them to achieve their full potential. Yet despite the important role communication plays in building strong, successful, sustainable organizations, many people in leadership positions overlook this critical ability. They assume that their employees and peers already understand what they, in the leadership position, want. However, this is simply not true, and as most people already know, making assumptions about what another person feels, wants or is trying to say, rarely turns out well. Strong leaders with strong leadership communication skills build strong organizations.
Here are 10 tips that will help you in improving your leadership communication skills.
Effective communication is all about planning. When you talk to partners or employees, you must plan every word you say before you say it. Have a purpose for when you communicate so that your audience is able to fully understand what you mean.
Give an Agenda
When communicating, it is always important that your audience knows exactly what the subject of your communication is and what it is you are trying to accomplish. Making the agenda known provides better over-all clarity.
To enhance your leadership communication skills, it is always a good idea to provide content to what it is you are trying to communicate. Is there data you want to share? Are there facts to what you are trying to convey? These are prime examples of content.
Engage your Audience
To capture the imagination of your audience, it is an effective leadership communication practice to engage your listeners. Tell them a story that will capture their attention and imagination.
Know how to Listen
Effective leadership communication is all about exchange, which means listening as well as you speak. Your audience may have valid points or ideas that you need to hear. Getting both sides of the story will allow you to make the best possible decision when communicating and interacting.
Be Mindful of the Words you Use
In moments of high pressure, many individuals often say hurtful things or use aggressively-toned words. As a leader, you must always choose your words carefully. Stick to passive words that will put your audience at ease even in high pressure moments.
Be Efficient in Speaking
Words such as “Uhm”, “You Know”, “I Guess”, and “Uh” really have no meaning in any conversation. Instead of using these fillers, keep your sentences concise and efficient.
Utilize Pauses instead of Fillers
After communicating an idea or an issue, it is okay to pause in silence as this allows your listener to better understand what you have conveyed.
Technology is Not Always a Good Communications Tool
As a leader, you must ensure that your directives and objectives are fully understood by those who follow you. To ensure that your message is conveyed properly, try communicating in person instead of using email, instant messaging, and texting.
Always get Feedback on your Leadership Communication Skills
Asking for feedback on your leadership communication skills is not a sign of weakness. All great leaders know that they are far from being perfect. Seeking feedback on your interpersonal skills from a confidant is a great way of improving your over-all leadership skills.
Whether you aspire to move up the career ladder and move into a management position or simply want to improve your professional persona, strong leadership communication skills are a must. You can improve your leadership communication skills by reading books, watching videos or taking courses. Harvard University even offers an extension course in leadership communication. Interested in learning more? Contact me today and let’s talk.