Leaders are constantly dealing with problems both inside and outside the company. Communication challenges are often at the root of many problems, thus leaders who invest their time to develop effective communication skills will have an easier path when facing problems.
At least as important as solving problems when they arise, good communication skills help prevent many situations from occurring in the first place. Another benefit of developing your communication skills is modeling these skills for your team and others around you. As you become more effective in your communication and challenges are either reduced or become easier to deal with, others will notice and begin to adopt your style. It’s a win/win for everyone.
There are many problems that all leaders face sooner or later, and all are tied to communication skills.
- Managing a diversely skilled team. No matter how good the recruiting system is, a leader will always face the challenge of managing a diverse team. A poor leader may get overwhelmed if the diversity is too wide. On the other hand, a great leader will have the communication skills designed especially to bind everyone together and understand how to manage this diverse team.
- Binding and facilitating team work. One of the greatest challenges for leaders today is coordinating work with teams. People prefer to work on an individual basis and are not motivate to work with others or share credit for success, leaving team members not bound as a team but as a bunch of individual contributors. A great leader, with good communication skills, would be able to guide and inspire them to work as a team.
- Inertia towards change. Technology today demands that you change continuously if you want to stay in the leading market position. You need to not only change to keep pace with the ever-evolving technology, changes in the marketplace and economy, and more. And you need to anticipate these changes. Unless the leader is able to fight the inertia or apathy of the team, the company will die a slow but sure death. A good leader is able to inspire his team to want to achieve more, to do more, to welcome and face changes with enthusiasm.
- Connecting the employees with the vision of the company. In most companies the performance level of many staff members decreased over time because the employees move away from the vision and mission of the company. As the leader you should be able to keep the vision and mission alive in the minds of the employees through communicating regularly. Help them keep the vision of the company in front of them, and share whenever there is a change to the vision or direction.
- Promoting a culture of trust and transparency. A culture of trust, mutual respect, and transparency are key factors that can be achieved with good communication skills, and the reverse is also true. When leaders don’t communicate effectively or often enough, a culture of mistrust develops, creating insecurities, lower performance of staff, and an inability to hire the best talent in the marketplace.
- Ensuring accountability of others. It is impossible to hold others accountable unless you have gained their commitment to whatever you have asked of them. And it’s impossible for them to commit without a clear understanding of your request, including terms and conditions of satisfaction. Great leaders know this.
Communication is usually the cause of many challenges that leaders and organizations face. We don’t listen well enough, we don’t ask enough questions, we make assumptions that we treat as facts and don’t test or confirm, we hear what we want to hear and ignore that the person we are speaking with has filters and their own beliefs and assumptions that color what they hear.
While good communication skills cannot guarantee success in every human interaction you have, it will reduce the frequency of problems, and, at the very least, you will know where you and the other person are not in synch and what to expect.
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© 2017 Incedo Group, LLC