When I wake up in the morning, I know that it is going to be a busy day. Because I lead my own company, I know that people look up to me and depend on me to model the appropriate forms of business communication. If I am not communicating clearly, then my employees don’t know my expectations, and that makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs well. In this post, let’s consider what good communication looks like.
Leaders Must Be Able to Respond to Different Situations
In many ways, communication is the skill set that will make or break a leader. Once I was sitting down with an employee and discussing a performance evaluation. At one point, he asked me what he could do to prepare for a team leader role that would be opening up in the New Year. I told him that he would need some work on listening skills. This includes showing compassion and attending to what people say before you offer the next thought. It also includes asking probing questions especially when you need clarification and not letting the other person in a conversation assume you understand when you don’t.
Leaders Communicate Properly in Each Situation
Communication is what links you to your team and takes the form of face-to-face communication as well as emails, memos, virtual chats, PowerPoints, and other forms of written communication. These different messages are how your team understands your expectations. Whenever you want to communicate with employees, it’s important to choose the best way to deliver the message. For example, if you need employees to remember a lot of information, you might need to draft a Word document with all of the details instead of shooting a series of emails to employees.
Leaders Are Always Developing Their Skills
We know the popular example of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was famous for surrounding himself with the best advisors who would help to run the government. He believed that this was his strength as a leader. I believe that, if you look around you, you can find other business leaders who are modeling skills that you need to learn. You also can look right into your own organization and find experts in different skill sets who can share their expertise with you. For example, many leaders wish they were stronger at using technology to make presentations. It’s one thing to make an excuse that you are bad with technology. What you could do is ask a technical guru on your staff to give you a crash course in operating a computer outfitted with presentation equipment. Then, you could spend time rehearsing your next presentation prior to delivering it to employees.
To be a great leader, you can’t afford to communicate poorly or to make excuses for not having skills that your team expects the boss to have. Make time for your own professional development so that you can strengthen your weaknesses. You must act on feedback that you get from employees. You must push yourself to set clear expectations for employees and then show them how they will be successful. Otherwise, they are going to get frustrated with your limited communications and start making decisions on their own, which may not fit with your strategy.