Great leaders recognize that success relies on strong communication skills. I’ve been writing about this in recent posts. As a coach, I often see how a lack of communication causes multiple obstructions, debilitations and failures. Leaders must therefore master three essential skills to avoid these disconnects:
- Communicating deliberately
- Communicating interpersonally
- Communicating by adding value
Transferring job-related information is a key leadership responsibility. While content is certainly important, the manner in which you convey it is equally critical. Our communications should enrich relationships by making people feel more valued and able to contribute.
Leaders who provide information with confidence enhance trust and promote self-assurance. They achieve a sense of accountability and believability, which boosts people’s trust and improves communication efforts. Successful leaders can build a culture of trust, where communication is central to operations and heightens accountability.
Demonstrate that you value your people by communicating with appropriate timing. Determine the best time to have difficult conversations, and anticipate how people will receive them. Always account for your audience’s perspective to ensure effective communication. When people sense fairness and consideration, relationships are strengthened.
Never overlook an opportunity to learn what people think or how they feel. People feel valued and appreciated when they’re encouraged to share their personal positions on issues. Inclusive discussions help them rethink their views and forge deeper understandings. Ask open-ended questions that call for thoughtful responses—a technique that builds trust and sets the stage for clarifying expectations, delineating action items and achieving goals. Measure communication success by examining whether follow-up activities match fair and reasonable expectations. Achieved goals give people a greater sense of ownership, purpose and value, which positively impacts your culture.
Your degree of positivity is perhaps the most vital value-adding aspect of communication. As you look for ways to inspire your people, remember that encouragement is a great motivator, and positivity is contagious.