In any business, leaders must be able to convey their vision and ideas in ways that drive action and promote teamwork. As such, the best leaders are able to inspire and motivate their team through clear communication.
But around 69% of managers say that they are not comfortable while communicating with their employees – despite the fact that effective communication promotes employee engagement, which in turn can improve income by up to 19.2%.
So what is leadership communication and why is it so important?
Simply put, it is the conversation between an organization’s leaders and employees that hold the company together like glue. Here are the top 10 principles of leadership communication you should keep in mind when conversing with your team.
10 Principles of Leadership Communication
1. Build Trust
Many companies don’t realize that trust is a key factor in maintaining and improving company culture. In fact, 55% CEOs out said that lack of trust can damage the very foundations of a company. So if you’re not transparent or sincere enough in your communication, it will eventually impact employee loyalty towards your company and result in low retention rates.
2. Two-Way Communication
Replace monologue with dialogue! Two-way communication leads to efficient problem solving and higher engagement. Asking questions, getting feedback, encouraging opinions are all ways to show your employees that you respect their voice.
If your subordinates feel that they ‘heard’, then they will feel more valued. Making people feel like they’re more than a number and money-making machine is the first step towards building a motivation-driven company culture.
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch
It’s simple, active listening that makes others feel that you are aware of their problems and concerns. Around 69% of employees say that they would work harder if they felt like they were being recognized for their efforts.
4. Use Stories
An effective leader understands the importance of workplace bonding and relationships. Sharing real-life struggles and stories will make employees see you in a different light. As humans, we crave that ‘someone like me’ feeling; it helps us trust brands, companies, and other people. In fact, 56% of customers say they are more inclined to trust brands that “get them.”
As a manager, brand yourself in a way that makes you seem real, approachable and relatable. If your employees feel like you don’t understand their personal and professional issues, they would most likely not include you in their conversations. And being a part of regular company conversations is important, as many great ideas and insights come from casual chatter.
5. Lead By Example
Follow the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule – you want employees to work overtime? Stay back with them on urgent projects to show them that when the going gets tough, their manager is with them.
This is not only essential for team building, but it’s also critical for strengthening trust. You set the tone for your company and if your employees see you taking on challenges with a positive and ‘can do’ attitude, they will follow suit.
Leaders who preach instead of teaching end up losing the respect of their employees as they have nothing to support their words with.
With 50% of managers showing poor performance at workplaces, it has become extremely essential to change their leadership communication style and practice a more empathetic approach.
Feedback is one of the most valuable things you can give to your employees – give constructive feedback whenever necessary and use an empathetic tone instead of an egoistic one.
Promote communication and encourage your employees to share their ideas. For example, if you run a Software as a Service company, then don’t restrict your web developers to the website only. If employees from another department want to sit in meetings and pitch ideas, appreciate their initiative and welcome their ideas.
8. Be Confident
Body language is 70% of communication, which is why it is extremely important to exude confidence at work. A confident leader not only brings out the best in others but also provides a sense of security to the team. Employees also feel more confident when they see a superior as an inspiration and as someone who is in control.
9. Be Positive
Show your employees that you have a positive attitude through frequent appreciation, coherent communication, and body language.
Moreover, always start conversations with positive outcomes in mind. Positivity is contagious and if you lead with an optimistic approach, then your employees will get in the habit of finding solutions instead of worrying about problems.
According to Richard Branson, the ability to inspire is the single most important skill that a leader must possess. As a leader, it’s your job to rally your team around the organization’s mission and vision – and inspire them to keep working towards their goals. Consider this: employees who are inspired can be 2x more productive than dissatisfied employees! Hence, it’s important for leaders to communicate their aspirations clearly and motivate others to do better. Do you practice these tips at your workplace? Remember, effective leadership communication at work eventually helps you advance in your career and drive the company to higher profits.
Looking for more communication insights?
Check out 7 Proven Facts About Non Verbal Communication or dive into 25 Examples of Rhetorical Strategies in Famous Speeches!
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