“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them” – this is very rightly said by Stephen King. Effective Communication is everything and everything is effective communication. We are constantly communicating with our actions and even inactions. As the world is transforming into one big global community, we often find ourselves in consistently increased contact of people who are different in communication styles, intelligence quotient, tenacity and opinion.
Great Communicator = Great Leader
To be effective as a great leader at the workplace, you need to be a great communicator. What does one do with all those brilliant ideas and thoughts if they cannot be communicated in a manner they must to achieve desired impact. With the RIGHT tone and the RIGHT attitude, a leader can maintain the much-needed team spirit and happy culture in a workplace. As the unaddressed negative mindsets of people may lead to weakened harmonious relationships, torn soul of emotional human engagement and ultimately poor performance.
Some effective communication principles every great leader must remember are:
1. Embrace the art of listening. As a leader, you should know what your employees are thinking and what’s troubling them. Depict that you genuinely care about their well-being and grievances. Beyond caring, you must increase the employee engagement level within the team and make them feel valued as an important asset. Ask your team members about their views and never zone them out. Go for an open organizational structure that gives the employees a freedom to express their excitement and anxieties.
“There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.” – William (Bill) Halsey, Jr.
2. “Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” This is a fundamental principle of effective communication that emphasizes more on understanding the perspective of your team. To maintain the happy organizational culture, you must customize your communication intelligently and convey the message to address your needs precisely. As a key influencer, you must know how to make your words and actions yield desired results. Also, you should know when to withhold your reactions and when to make a comment on a particular situation.
3. Encourage a two-way communication. It is the cornerstone of a healthy workplace environment which is all about increase employee engagement and boost workplace productivity. A two-way communication is the lifeblood of a company and ultimately determine the success or failure of the organization. Establishing a two-way flow of information within the team creates a power of empowerment.
4. Give constructive feedback. Famous leadership guru Ken Blanchard has rightly said that “Feedback is the breakfast of Champions”. Gone are those days of the past when ‘the command-and-control paradigm’ used to work as a leader’s life-support system to achieve operational efficiency. It’s time for a pragmatic mantra. Today with the Gen-Y workforce, a leader needs to extend a real performance feedback which plays a crucial role in employee satisfaction and improving the productivity in an organization.
5. Don’t mince words. There should be a clarity in whatever you communicate. For leaders, it is always necessary to gain their employees attention and discuss the factual situation. Without offending or demeaning, make your team members clear that the work assigned must meet the standards without dilution. Use the right words because your language triggers reactions and creates a ripple effect on the people around you. Find that perfect tone for expressing your leadership DNA and communicate your message about common and shared challenges to the staff members openly. Keep reminding yourself that you are not just a supervisor, but also a mentor.
6. Agree to disagree. People leave people not jobs . So, in the blind pursuit of bottom-lines, refrain from becoming a tyrannical dictator and embrace dis agreement & diversity .You don’t want a team of yes mans but thinkers who bring out the best in each other.
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup
7. Keep the compliments free-flowing. Never shy from appreciating your people abundantly as complementing is an incredibly powerful tool in the leader’s arsenal if used wisely. Every boss needs to understand that it only works when it is used genuinely and responsibly in the required measure.
8. A stitch in time saves nine. Enable deeper in-time communication (at all levels) in your team and involve everyone in the spirit of co-creation. Be proactive and just in time because pre-mature or delayed communication both are absolutely futile and meaningless.
Babe Ruth, the famous baseball player rightly said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime”. Infuse the ability of Emotional Intelligence along with effective communication skills to become a leader of ultimately a more productive and happy team.