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6 Ways to be a Better Leader through Communication

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Why is communication important in the workplace? Poor communication is often the root cause of conflict, inefficiencies, and lack of trust. This leads to poor company culture, performance and can slowly erode your bottom line.

Leaders must learn and model the right communication behaviours in all situations.We know that successful leaders come with a clear vision. However, the importance of being an efficient communicator is one of the less-recognized leadership traits.

What good is a message if you can't convey it?

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Some leaders over-communicate without them knowing. Some rely solely on facts. Keep communication mistakes away. Learn the importance of robust communication in the workplace.

Sarah Knolll Wilson explains Robust Communication

Having Robust Communication Styles in the Workplace

Robust communication leads to clear, effective discussions. This makes sure that everyone understands their roles and tasks. The organization can then operate more smoothly with improved outcomes. Recent studies highlight some big challenges:

  • Just 31% of employees rate their leaders' communication skills positively.
  • Nearly half of employees struggle with unclear directions from their leaders. This wastes at least 40 minutes a day trying to understand them.
  • Almost 82% of leaders don't have the right talent for their job.

It's clear as day that effective communication builds trust between leaders and team members. In return, collaboration and productivity levels go up.

Benefits of Robust Workplace Communication

Successful leaders communicate effectively. You can have a thriving work environment through robust communication.

  • Clear communication boosts teamwork
  • Open communication channels build employee loyalty
  • Transparent communication prevents workplace misunderstandings
  • An open dialogue lets you hear diverse perspectives
  • Effective communication ensures that stakeholders are aware of important information.
  • Prioritizing communication improves accountability

Robust communication in the workplace is good for everyone. By communicating well, leaders can create and maintain a high-performing team in the long term.

How Do You Improve Your Communication Skills? 

Communication skills are one of the key strengths of a leader. However, mastering these skills takes effort and practice.

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1. Seeking Feedback

It's important to seek constructive feedback from your peers. You can learn a lot about how people pick up on your non-verbal and verbal cues. It is also common to conduct a leadership assessment.

Leaders pay equal attention to non-verbal communication. This includes body language and facial expressions.  


2. Practice and Role-Playing

Practice makes perfect for any skill. Leaders can practice role-playing. This essentially lets them simulate all types of work-related situations. These exercises allow leaders to experiment with gestures. 

You can also make the right choice of words. Remember that your message should be both clear and authentic.

This also allows leaders to practice for their "Spotlight Moments." These are situations where all eyes are on them. 

The message should be clear and concise. But with a touch of charisma. In this way, your audience will connect with your idea.


3. Continuous Learning

Communication skills only get better over time. Successful leaders invest in their professional development.

Leaders continuously learn and develop. They stay on top of communication trends and best practices. 

This means reading tons of books, articles, and research papers. Communication theory is a common subject to study. This can also be done by attending workshops and seminars. You can also enroll in various leadership courses. 


4. Handling Conflict

Workplace conflict can't be avoided. But, effective communication can help ease the pain. Leaders learn conflict resolution strategies. This is important for resolving disputes constructively.

Practice active listening and empathy. A leader should also be able to reframe perspectives. The goal here is to come up with a win-win solution.

Keeping calm during conflict situations helps leaders ease tensions. Managing conflict effectively solves issues efficiently. This also strengthens relationships and builds trust.


5. Cultural Sensitivity

Workplaces are more diverse than ever. That's a great thing! Diversity allows for more unique ideas. The challenge is still there, though. Diversity training costs around $8 billion a year.

Effective leaders value employee diversity. They also understand the norms of different cultures. Cultural awareness and inclusivity make team members feel valued and understood.


6. Active Listening and Observing Non-Verbal Cues

True leadership requires not just speaking, but listening—actively. Active listening a valid type of communication. It is more than just hearing words; it's about understanding the message behind them. 

Active listening entails paying close attention to the speaker. This includes refraining from interrupting, making judgments, or thinking about your response while the other person is speaking. Moreover, it involves being fully present in the conversation, showing empathy, and demonstrating understanding. 

You can do this by summarizing the speaker's points. Additionally, ask relevant questions to clarify your grasp of their perspective.

Observing nonverbal cues plays a crucial role in effective communication. Leaders who master this art can pick up on unspoken feelings and attitudes. This includes paying attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. 

These cues can often tell you more than words alone. For instance, crossed arms might indicate defensiveness, while a lack of eye contact could suggest discomfort or evasion.

Integrating active listening and observation of non-verbal cues into your communication strategy can significantly enhance your interactions. It not only helps in accurately receiving messages but also in building trust and rapport with your team. 

By validating how people feel and think through attentive listening, leaders can foster a more inclusive and respectful work environment. Keen observation further contributes to creating a collaborative atmosphere.

Remember, communication is a two-way street. Your ability to listen actively and observe diligently sends a powerful message about your respect for others and your commitment to understanding their perspectives. This, in turn, encourages openness, reduces misunderstandings, and strengthens the bonds within your team, making it one of the most effective strategies for becoming a better communicator.

Unleashing the Potential of Your Organization

How often do you conduct one-on-one performance reviews with your team? Providing regular performance feedback to every employee is a critical part of effective leadership.

 If you’d like to learn more about maximizing performance through business leadership coaching, connect with us or consider attending one of our upcoming leadership events.

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Tim O'Connor