How much time do you spend thinking about your communication skills? Many leaders assume that their communication skills are sufficient for helping their team complete a project. However, a small discrepancy in details could ultimately delay the completion of a milestone or project.
It’s critical for teams to have strong communication skills, both on the giving and receiving end of information. When leaders improve their own communication skills, they set an example for the rest of the team.
When every team member masters the elements of effective communication, that team is all the more likely to succeed in everything they do. Here are some vital elements of effective communication you can examine and implement into your leadership skills to improve your communication as a leader.
Giving Elements of Communication
Effective communication begins (somewhat obviously) with effective verbal communication. Uniting people behind a clear message during a presentation of ideas is a powerful leadership skill. Leaders should be proficient in verbal communication to give their team direction. Likewise, teams should be able to verbally communicate information as clearly as possible among one another as a cohesive unit.
When every team member can speak their message clearly, it makes them all the more efficient and effective. Organizations, in other words, should never reserve strong verbal communication for those at the top.
However, developing this skill set takes effort and motivation. Though some people may be naturally gifted with strong verbal communication skills, others can find them challenging to learn. In fact, some experts have estimated that as many as 77% of people suffer from fear of public speaking.
Though it’s unlikely that every member of a team will have to give a TedTalk in their career, fear of public speaking can affect meetings, presentations, or even conversations on Zoom. It’s worth checking in with team members to see how comfortable they are with verbal communication. You can then offer them support and education to help them improve their skills.
Communication in written form should break down complex ideas into simple ones to facilitate efficient and effective execution. A team should be able to clearly understand written instructions from their leader.
This is especially important in any delegation or outsourcing situation. When leaders assign tasks to other team members, their written instructions should be clear enough that the team members rarely have to contact them.
Since emailing and messaging are significant components of modern workplace communication, leaders should encourage team members to review written communication tactics together. Spend some time analyzing your team’s written communication and make a plan to improve it. Often, team members and leaders who use as few words as possible to get their message across have the best communication.
Be sure that your team’s written communication flows properly and is supported by facts. Practice clear written communication often and get feedback from other team members.
Receiving Elements of Communication
To effectively share messages among the team, team members must read and understand the written communication they receive from other team members. Most people put a lot of effort into expressing outgoing communication clearly. However, they should put the same amount of work into properly understanding incoming communication.
Studies show that reading improves one’s communication skills and analytical thinking. People who read often train their brains to pay attention to detail and synthesize knowledge.
A well-read person adds value to a team by picking up on lapses in communication. Their time spent reading between the lines helps them pick up on emotional signals and empathize with team members while identifying all information pertinent to the conflict or project at hand. The best leaders are avid readers.
If it’s not a habit already, make an effort to read all types of material to improve your communication skills.
Listening is an integral part of communication. However, employers rarely train their employees in listening skills. In most communication training, employers focus on improving the three modes of communication—reading, writing, and speaking—among team members.
While communication is a two-way street, many people consider those with superior listening skills to be better communicators than those with better oratory skills. Superior leaders are superior listeners. To understand the needs of their team members, they learn to listen carefully.
Psychologists often encourage people to use active listening skills to receive someone else’s verbal communication effectively. Active listeners fully listen to a speaker without distraction. They internalize and analyze what the person is saying and the meaning behind their words.
Asking questions is a powerful tool for effective communication. By asking questions, listeners demonstrate that they are striving to understand the speaker deeply. Leaders who ask questions make their teams feel heard.
The Bottom Line
When every team member masters the elements of effective communication, that team is all the more likely to succeed in everything they do.
Good ideas and plans mean nothing if an organization’s leader and the team cannot communicate these ideas to the people responsible for executing them. Although you may be comfortable with your communication skills, there is always room for improvement. Improving your communication could make all the difference in achieving your team’s results and goals.
We want to help you and your team be successful, so be sure to download The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula. It’s an excellent resource for anyone wishing to improve their communication.
So tell us, what type of communication are you going to work on improving? Let us know in the comments below!