What is the biggest quality that a leader needs? The first answer that comes to mind is – the ability to communicate. And that has not changed in its importance even though the definition of leadership itself has changed. Take any of the leadership courses online and they will tell you how crucial this aspect of communication is, even more, today than it ever was. So whether you are a natural communicator or one who has acquired the skills along the way, here are some top tips to be effective, and even better at it.
- Be honest and transparent – This is the most important and yet the most understated tip. Being honest and transparent in your communication is what ensures that the integrity of your message gets through to the audience or who you are communicating with. When you are honest about the areas you are speaking of, you can connect much better. When you are transparent it allows people to see you as a human being first and transformational leader later.
- Establish a personal connection – Your communication style is personal to you. But what makes it unique is when your words or content has a personal connect or reference to your personal journey. It makes it all the more unique and evident that you are trying to communicate directly rather than speaking down to people. It also holds their attention, because they find it more interesting to know how the topic being spoken about has applied for you.
- Practice is non-negotiable – Whether you are at a small gathering or a big forum, and expected to deliver a talk or a small session, practice is non-negotiable, no matter how many times you have done it.
- Use all channels of communication – Some people prefer to communicate virtually while some others like to be present physically when communicating. The idea is to make sure that there is a conversation that takes place and that it is interactive and two-way. That is when communication becomes effective. Learn how to use social media and technology to interact with Gen Y and Z. Improve your communication in the physical one-to-one discussions with older employees. And use all channels. As a leader, you need to remain approachable to those who work with you or even look up to you.
These are some simple yet very good ways of ensuring that your communication remains not only effective but also impactful. Every leader and manager needs to polish or develop these aspects in their communication styles.