6 Tips to Improve your Leadership by Improving your Communication
Being a great communicator takes years of practice and an incredible about of skills. It takes ingenuity and hard work. Several years ago Jason Fried wrote an article for Inc. about how he learned just enough of the language his programmers speak so that he could effectively communicate with them regarding his company’s new applications.
It is this kind of wherewithal that makes him successful, he KNEW he needed to become a better communicator to take him to the next level.
So if you need a brush up or a platform for how to improve your leadership, take these tips to improve your communication to take a giant step in the right direction.
These are, “observable, easily learned and they form the foundation for effective communication.” Regardless of the setting, these skills are essential and when applied, you will help give your organization clear, consistent information.
Public Speaking - being able to effectively share your messages with other is an absolute requirements of a great leader. Tip: A trusted and effective coach can help you improve your public speaking skills a tremendous amount in a short amount of time.
Clear and Concise messages - not only do you want to be able to speak clearly and confidently in front of groups, but you want to be concise with those messages. Being able to provide an easy-to-understand response or instruction or explanation is paramount to being an effective communicator and a strong leader. Tip: Watch former President Bill Clinton’s 2012 Democratic Convention speech
Planning - Arguably the most important and also the easiest step to being both a great communicator and a great leader, that has nothing to do with your ACTUAL communication skills. Planning ahead for whatever audience you are going to be communicating with will pay countless dividends to improving your communication and your leadership ability. Developing a simple formula or template for preparation is a great starting point.
People communication skills
These skills are harder to identify and define but are essential to effective two-way communication. They help you build trust and openness with employees and others you would like to effectively communicate.
Honesty and Transparency - If you are telling the truth you will inherently be able to more easily communicate. Also, transparency means communicating things in a timely manner so that people can plan accordingly. It will help those you are communicating with respect you more. Tip: Read Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson for suggestions on having candid conversations.
Rapport: Building rapport means listening to others. It means firm handshakes and looking them in the eye when you talk to them. It taps into their human nature by showing them you care about them. You can’t fake this one and people will appreciate that you actually care about them and ultimately be more receptacle to what you are saying to them.
Feedback: Ask for peoples thoughts. Get feedback to get an idea of how people are hearing your messages. Ask for advice about how to make your communication with various groups or people better. Tip: A good question to ask is, “What is something you’d like to learn more about from me?”
By investing your time and engird into making yourself a better communicator and thus a better leader you will be improving your organization, your ability to influence your life and the level of success you have in it.