In any business relationship, good communication is a critical function, especially for company leaders. In fact, effective leadership and communication are directly intertwined. They are key skills essential to people management. As a leader, you need excellent communication skills to manage people and encourage them to work towards the company’s success.
On the other hand, poor communication affects more than just the company’s bottom line. It can cause low workplace morale, lost sales, and missed performance objectives.
One great example of exemplary leadership communication is the former Pavillion Energy CEO Seah Moon Ming from Singapore. Mr. Seah decided to step down as the CEO of Pavillion Energy to focus on his role as the SMRT chairman. He wants to devote his time and attention to managing the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit and focus on strengthening its operation, management, and operational capabilities. By stepping down from his role, Mr. Seah can better improve in communicating his plans to the organization.
To be an effective leader, one needs to improve their communication skills. When done well, it will enable them to build trust, empower employees, rally the team towards a shared goal, and navigate changes in the workplace. To help you become a great company leader, here are methods to improve your leadership communication skills.
Learn to empathize
Empathy means the ability to determine and understand others. In a corporate setting, having this quality means showing the team you care.
For instance, if a manager responds negatively to an employee who arrives late at work because of a sick family member, the team will resent the manager for being insensitive. A better response is to be more understanding and create a work arrangement that works for them. By showing empathy, employees will develop trust and respect in you as a leader, which will also directly affect their job performance.
To practice empathy, you have to put yourself in a person’s situation and imagine how you act or feel. This allows you to feel the same emotion the person is experiencing.
Having a listening ear also shows empathy. A good leader should be a good listener. While listening, observe their reactions without interrupting them and show sincerity through body language. Once you understand their dilemma, try to address this by offering feasible solutions. If they’re having a hard time at work, consider offering coaching sessions or creating a feasible work plan.
Speak with authority but with clarity
Misunderstandings are common in the workplace. This can lead to errors and conflicts and even lead teams astray because of incorrect information.
When communicating with the team, be clear and specific when relaying information. For example, use simple concepts and break down ideas when explaining complex strategies. You can also cite real-life examples to make an idea more relatable and memorable.
If you’re struggling to communicate an idea, there’s a good chance that you don’t have a clear understanding of the subject. Don’t get too caught up with business-speak and technical jargon. Others do this to make them look smarter, but this approach can only lead to conflict and misunderstandings. Also, avoid using filler words, such as almost, very, and maybe. These words can render relevant information vague.
Before explaining an idea to the team, make sure to understand your message completely. Learn about the topic and take note of key points before addressing them to the team. If you can’t understand what you’re explaining to them, your team won’t understand what to do. You sacrifice productivity whenever employees return to you to clarify information.
Be transparent as possible
It’s hard to work towards a goal if you don’t know what the goal is. Good communication requires transparency. Without it, leaders are likely to breed distrust, causing people to lose motivation at work.
When assigning tasks, you need to provide teams with complete information at their disposal. Employees are likely to be efficient if they know their specific roles and responsibilities. Keep them updated by discussing team goals, challenges, wins, and losses. Employees love managers who keep them in the loop about company happenings. This brings a sense of belongingness, inclusivity, and camaraderie within the team. In other words, transparency brings people together and motivates them to achieve a common goal.
Communication reveals a leader’s sincerity, authenticity, and other essential aspects of their character. So to be an effective leader and communicator, you need to be conscious not only about your works but also your actions and attitude. If done well, you’re capable of developing meaningful relationships in the workplace and driving the organization towards success.