Leadership Skills: Effective Communication
Communication is an essential part of everyday life. The average person speaks up to 16,000 words every day! That’s a lot of words, so it can be a big challenge to get them all right.
Some people are naturally better at communicating than others and some more experienced. If we are good at talking, however, we shouldn’t be fooled into believing that we are good at communicating. Likewise, if we happen to be quiet, that doesn’t mean we are bad communicators.
Everything we do in life, and at work, communicates a message to others. And in a leadership role, it is important to make sure we are communicating theright message. Effective communication is therefore one of the most important leadership skills.
Most of us have probably heard this saying:
“It’s not what we say but how we say it.”
This can be true; as effective communicators, however, we should understand that:
“It is what we say and how, when, where and why we say it.”
What, how, when, where and why we communicate is the difference between negative and positive interactions, situations, outcomes and relationships. It can be the key difference between being a poor leader and an exceptional leader.
Having the skills to communicate effectively is one of the keys to leading people effectively.
Effective communication is a very challenging and complex process as there is always the potential for misunderstanding.
Let’s consider the question asked in the work place scenario below. Cai is applying the finishing touches to a product display stand when she is approached by her team leader, Anya...
The question “Who made that decision?” seems like a straightforward question, however depending on who asked it, how they asked it, who was asked and under what circumstances it was asked there could be any number of surprising responses (either spoken or thought), such as:
“Oh that’d be right – I’ve slaved over this for hours all by myself and only now you decide to come down here and get involved!” or “I did and if it’s not perfect I don’t have time to fix it; I have much more important things to be doing!”
What if the full question asked by Anya was: “Who made that decision - it looks fantastic! What a great idea!”
If Anya had communicated her thoughts in this way, it is likely that she would have received a much more positive response from Cai.
This example demonstrates that communication can be very challenging, which is exactly why, in order to be effective leaders, we need to learn how to communicate effectively.
So where do we start?
There are many, many facets to effective communication, such as using and interpreting body language, receiving criticism positively, assertive communication and managing communication barriers, just to name a few.
As a starting point, here are three of the most important effective communication skills to consider:
1: Consider their perspective
2: Constructive Reframes
3: Effective listening
Talkshop, the best Leadership Training School in the Philippines, will equip you with the necessary skills you need for effective communication and leadership skills.