The art of communication is the language of leadership – James Humes
Without doubt, we’ve all experienced a time (or many times) when we have had to sit through a presentation, a meeting or just a one on one conversation where the thought of poking your eye out held more appeal. Poor communicators can make the experience excruciating for those on the receiving end. As to the message that the orator is trying to deliver - there is no possible way it’s making its way through! If the audience hasn’t simply zoned out, they will be checking their Facebook pages or plotting their escape route.
We all want to make sure our message is heard, so we have 5 quick tips that will improve your communication skills.....
WHAT'S ALL THE NOISE ABOUT?
Great leaders tend to be great communicators. They know how to engage their audience and impart their message. No matter what field you are in, the ability to communicate effectively is vitally important. If you can’t effectively connect with a group and inspire their actions, it is nearly impossible to lead them. Poor communication skills from the leaders of a business will almost always have a detrimental effect on the organisations success.
5 QUICK COMMUNICATION WINS
There are those who are born with the gift of the gab, however for most of us mere mortals, communication skills are something that are honed through experience and practice. So let’s take a look at five quick things you can do to improve your communication style and strengthen your position as a leader.
1. OWN IT!
Even the most important message can be lost to an audience without proper delivery. Your message will cut through with your audience when combined with confident body language and a strong tone. Open hand gestures increase the chances of your audience accepting your message. Avoiding a monotonous tone by emphasising important points in your message can increase the level of engagement you will get from your listeners. By projecting confidence and passion, it is more likely your team will embrace your message and drive results.
2. KNOW IT!
If you don’t really know what you’re talking about, how do you expect your audience to stay engaged? A leader that is uneducated and unfamiliar with the proposed topic – but pretends to be - will become nothing but an object of derision and ridicule. Make sure you know your stuff, and be prepared to field any questions from your team. Bring in experts or refer to team members with greater knowledge – it won’t make you look weak, it will show you know where the knowledge and strengths lie within your team and drives respect and team cohesion.
3. LISTEN TO THEM!
Think dialogue, not monologue! Communication usually generates a response, and you are best served listening to that response with an open mind. Listening to opinions and opposing positions can provide you with information you hadn’t previously considered. Showing you are willing to hear and discuss potential issues will allow you to work out solutions and help avoid costly problems. Simply broadcasting your thoughts and your message will not have the same result as having a meaningful conversation in order to engage and drive true understanding.
4. UNDERSTAND THEM!
Every team brings a swag of different personalities to the table and the key to effectively communicating with them is knowing how and when they will be receptive to your communications. Obviously, there are times when you have no choice but to deliver a big announcement to the team as a whole but consider how you follow up with your employees. Walking around the work space and making time to hear feedback or answer questions can assist with buy in, and allows your team to take ownership of their aspect a project or understand why a change must occur. Take the time to find out your team members’ interests, hobbies, personal issues, etc. and communicate with them based on these, you will build trust and create a culture of honest and open communication. You don’t have to be best friends, but you need to be genuine!
5. SHARPEN IT!
The best message is clear and concise. Wishy washy communications that are too ambiguous or vague, lead to confusion, frustration and uncertainty. It is better to get to your point instead of filling a message up with extra and unnecessary words. Make deliberate word choices and be specific.
Great communicators may be born—but they’re also made. Try using at least one of these strategies this week and see how you can up your communication effectiveness. Your team will notice, and you’ll find new confidence and level of satisfaction in your work.
Remember, sometimes we all need a little help in becoming better managers and leaders. If you want to really step it up, get in contact via phone or email and we can take you through the training options we have that will take your management skills to the next level!
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!