A good leader needs a diverse skill set. They also need to constantly look for opportunities to better themselves, improve their leadership and communication skills, and develop new ones.
If you’re interested in coaching and leadership development, you have probably been told that communicating effectively with your team is essential.
When you take a moment to think about it, it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Communication is not just about talking and listening. So, what is the best way to help you communicate more efficiently? And what do your employees expect from you as their leader?
Here are 8 tips for improving leadership and communication skills to become a better leader:
1. Be authentic and use your voice
You must first be authentic to improve your leadership and communication skills. Don’t focus on corporate jargon, which your employees might find meaningless and irritating.
Use your voice instead of using euphemisms and ambiguous phrases that mean nothing and everything simultaneously. Speak from your heart. Be yourself. Employees respect and trust a genuine, sincere, and honest leader.
2. Make a habit of saying exactly what you mean
Your team relies on you to be clear and direct. Whether emailing them, talking to them face to face, or hosting an online meeting, always say precisely what you mean. Learn how to speak more professionally so that you can accurately communicate with the team and easily convey tasks and goals.
our employees are not interested in analyzing a complex metaphor to understand what you want them to do. They will thank you for keeping your message simple and to the point.
3. Set clear expectations when it comes to communication
Being honest and authentic doesn’t mean you have to speak to your employees as if they were all your best friends. After all, you work together in a professional setting where norms must be respected.
As a leader, it’s part of your job to set clear expectations regarding communication between you and your employees and among your employees.
You must also set expectations regarding how often you will communicate with your team and which media you will use.
4. Do some research before communicating something important
Some information can be harder to communicate efficiently than others. Before touching on a significant or controversial topic, do your research. Familiarize yourself with the information you want to share and consider it from different viewpoints.
If you don’t know what you’re talking about, your employees will notice and not be impressed. Remember that you might need to present the same information from different angles, depending on who you’re talking to.
5. Never ignore a problem or conflict
No matter what you do, problems and conflicts will arise. As a leader, you must address them and find creative solutions.
If you notice an issue or if one of your employees comes to you with a complaint, you need to analyze the situation from a neutral point of view. You must then look for a solution and share it with your team. You should never shy away from difficult conversations.
6. Don’t hesitate to make eye contact when you speak
An important tip to improve your communication skills is to always look people in the eye when speaking to them. Eye contact makes people feel more comfortable communicating with you.
Additionally, you should ensure your body language is always positive. Keep a relaxed posture, smile, and avoid crossing your arms, as it could make others think you are not open to communication.
7. Listen and pay attention to other people
In addition to displaying positive body language, you need to understand others’ language better. If your team is confused by what you’re telling them, or if they disagree with you, it will likely show on their faces.
Pay attention to others. Allow them to ask questions and listen to what they say.
8. Ask the right questions
The last of our tips for improving leadership and communication skills is to know how to ask the right questions to your employees. Make sure they understand what you expect of them. Request their feedback and input, and keep the communication alive.
And when someone gives you feedback, listen to them and take what they say seriously. Your employees will know that their voices matter and that they are significant members of the team you lead.