Does My Communication Style Work?
Sutton Full Potential Founder
You cannot be a good leader if you’re not a good communicator. It is as plain and simple as that. Unfortunately, classroom teaching is hardly ever helpful in helping students become skilful communicators at an early age. This teaching fails to touch upon the subtle aspects of communication that desperately need to be learnt by leaders.
In the world of business, effective leadership requires knowledge and practice on communicating with the various elements of an organisation, including other managers, employees, investors and customers. Each of these groups usually demands a different style of communication.
Wondering if your current communication style is working? Here are some effective communication benchmarks that can help you decide!
Be a good listener
The one quality that all good communicators share is that they have an excellent sense of contextual and situational awareness. In other words, in order to be a great communicator, you need to be a great listener and keen observer. If you read up on renowned communicators, you will discover that these people are highly skilled in sensing moods, analysing attitudes, empathising with concerns and respecting values of individuals and groups they interact with.
Make it personal
As a leader, you might be used to dispensing corporate communications at all times. But if you wish to be a good communicator, you also need to have organisational conversations. In other words, encourage ‘dialogue’ instead of sticking to monologue. The logic here is quite simple-the effectiveness of a conversation increases when it is more engaging and personal. Your employees want to know that you care, they aren’t bothered as much about your knowledge, skill or expertise.
Ensure clear, direct and specific communication
There are multiple benefits of clear and direct communication. First, it will increase the chances of workers comprehending the instructions and taking the necessary action quicker and more efficiently. Second, there will be minimal chance of misunderstanding when you give specific instructions. Remember, over-explaining is better than leaving room for interpretation.
Trust is one of the key factors determining the effectiveness of communication flow between a leader and a subordinate. It is natural for people to avoid opening up to somebody they cannot trust. So, you need to earn the trust of your team members. And this trust can only be earned if you’re honest in your communication and associated actions. Once you have the trust of your people, they would be willing to take risks and invest time in every task assigned to them. Integrity and strong character are the hallmarks of a good leader and honest communicator.
Audience awareness is important
Effective communicators are adept at changing their style of communication by judging the audience. For example, when talking to employees, you might need to adopt a more commanding style than when you’re making a presentation before a group of investors or interacting with customers.
It is vital for leaders to be aware of the audience during interactions. This will allow them to make adjustments to their tone and communication style basis their individual needs.
If you keep in mind these simple, yet effective communication strategies, you will likely see a change in your workplace dynamics. A good communicator isn’t just skilled at acquiring information while interacting, he/she is also proficient at conveying ideas, inspiring action, spreading a common vision and aligning expectations.