Frustrated leaders are often frustrated because they aren’t sure if they are getting through to their people. A leader’s job (whatever the vocation) is getting things done with and through other people. A major distinction between a leader and a teammate is the “getting things done through other people” part of the definition. So it stands to reason that communication skills are essential in the leader’s toolbox.
For a leader to actually be effective, he must go above and beyond to communicate…and make sure the message actually gets through. Leaders must over-communicate, so here are 5 tools that a leader can add to the communication skills toolbox.
- Make meetings more effective. There are lots of blogs that dive deeper into this subject, but sometimes you aren’t getting the message through because folks are bored with your ineffective meetings.
- Master multiple electronic methods. Some folks are texters, some are email-only folks, others check facebook more than email. As a leader, you can multiply your communication effectiveness if you can identify the preferred way to connect with your people.
- Say it with more than words. Many have said it, but John Maxwell made it famous in the things I’ve read…”People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Sometimes your message gets through better by showing that you care as you communicate.
- Repeat. Sometimes even the best teammates, students, workers just don’t catch it the first time. We all have moments when we zone out for a jiffy, so be prepared for this with those that you lead. You may have to repeat something or provide another avenue for more information if needed.
- Anticipate follow-up questions. When communicating, you can sense things that may confuse or need further explanation. Make yourself available to give further insights when those follow-up questions come.
You can’t just say, “It’s their fault they don’t get it.” That won’t help accomplish the goals you have, nor will it make your team stronger. Over-communicate and continue to improve your communication skills in leadership.