Teaching a graduate course in executive communication and leadership in the MBA and MAS programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University for 15 years, it was brought up that communication was the most sought-after skill set according to a Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll of top executives and corporate recruiters, closely followed by teamwork skills. This was taken so far as to assign schools a grade based on how well they produce job candidates with strong teamwork and communication skills. Analytical, problem-solving, and organizational skills—what are referred to as hard skills—were further down the list. However, communication consistently topped the list as the most important soft skill.
However, it must be acknowledged that there was no guarantee that organizations had a pipeline of excellent communicators. According to the executives’ own admissions of guilt, they were able to find applicants with all of the necessary hard skills (accounting, finance, engineering, logistics, etc.). ), the ongoing issue of people not being able to communicate effectively was what kept them up at night. However, from entry-level to C-suite respondents, one of the most prevalent resume entries and responses to interview questions about strengths and weaknesses is “strong communication skills.” Of course, writing your own resume is simple when you do it yourself. Virtually everyone says it.
The six leadership communication skills are listening, written, verbal, nonverbal, cross-cultural, and presentation. When you ask people to list them, which one is the one that comes up the least frequently? Which brings to mind the tale of the employee who shook as he walked back to his desk following his annual review with his boss. MORE FOR YOU.
Sadly, that story is probably rooted in truth, not fiction. More regrettably, it concerns the one communication ability that dominates all others put together. Think of the of a scale. Theoretically, if the first five are placed on the left platform and listening is placed on the right one, the right side should descend. In practice, tough, it’s usually the other way around. According to Albert Einstein, “theory and practice are identical in theory.” In practice, they are not. ”.
There is one more finding that will help to explain the challenges that the majority of organizations face beyond this clinical examination of communication skills. To know that George Bernard Shaw was correct when he said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has occurred,” one need not examine the communication capabilities of any organization. ”.
The Key to Powerful Leadership Communication
Examples of leadership communication skills
When used in the workplace, the following leadership communication skills can help you become a better leader:
Active listening is the capacity to pay close attention to the speaker and understand what they have to say. Active listening entails remembering what someone says and comprehending the message they are conveying. You can make useful comments while actively listening, ensuring that your team members always feel heard and understood.
Storytelling is a powerful tool for establishing rapport, forging connections, and motivating others to act on what you say. Delivering value propositions, establishing a mission, and empowering others are examples of storytelling skills.
Since not all employees communicate in the same way at work, effective leaders must be able to adjust to the various forms of communication that their team members prefer. Being flexible enables you to modify your communication to make certain that each team member comprehends you and that you comprehend them.
Good leaders know how to motivate their teams through communication. It’s crucial to comprehend what drives your team members, then use that understanding when speaking with them.
A crucial element of developing effective leadership communication abilities is having an open mind. Being open-minded enables you to listen to what others have to say without attempting to alter their opinions or beliefs. This enables you to fully comprehend what they say and helps you make informed decisions.
Empathy training makes team members more receptive to your message. Additionally, empathy enables you to comprehend the emotions of your staff and meet their needs. Communicate with your team in a genuine and transparent manner to foster trust.
Clear task delegation is a crucial component of effective leadership communication. Spend time outlining to team members your expectations for them and why you selected them for a particular task. By letting your team members know what they are doing and why, you can further encourage them to be as productive as possible.
Positive communication can have a significant impact on your team’s overall morale and how they perceive your message. Setting a good example for your staff by speaking and acting positively can motivate them to follow suit at work.
People can communicate using body language, reactions and facial expressions. The more alert you are as a leader, the better you’ll be able to read your team members’ reactions and body language and react accordingly.
Leaders must also know how to effectively communicate nonverbally. Nonverbal communication includes body language, facial expressions and actions. Practice matching your nonverbal communication to your verbal communication. To communicate positively and confidently, stand up straight and make eye contact while speaking.
Why are leadership communication skills important?
Leadership communication abilities enable team members to clearly connect with one another, strengthening the sense of community. Leaders must be adept at communicating with all types of people in a variety of ways, from team members to keeping executives informed of daily activities.
Leadership communication skills are important because they:
How to improve leadership communication skills
You can take the following actions to hone your communication skills as a leader:
Leadership communication skills in the workplace
As a leader, follow these six steps for effective communication:
Clearly define goals for each team member
To keep workers on track and motivated to complete their tasks, it is critical to establish clear expectations. Make sure each team member is aware of their responsibilities and has the resources necessary to complete these tasks. You can do this by creating a shared calendar of tasks for each employee, establishing a system for tracking progress, and providing regular feedback based on work completed.
When you’re proactive, you can anticipate how your staff members will need assistance to complete their tasks. Your team will function more smoothly and you are less likely to run into issues if you are more proactive. Making sure team members are aware of their responsibilities in advance, being aware of when employees plan to take time off so you can prepare, and making plans in advance for any delays or problems your team may encounter while working on a project are all examples of being proactive.
Streamline your method of communication with your team
It’s crucial to simplify communications when leading a team by relying on one or a few channels of communication Several platforms are available that allow teams to communicate regularly. If you haven’t already, choose the platforms that best suit the needs of your team and make sure everyone on it is familiar with how to use them. Use the same programs among all employees to make quick communication easier.
Stay in constant contact with your team
Keeping in touch with your team can increase productivity and serve as a reminder to them that they are responsible for their duties. Set a goal to communicate with each member of your team once or twice a week, if you can. You can accomplish this by holding individual meetings or a group meeting with the entire team. These meetings do not have to be extensive. Instead, concentrate on demonstrating to your team members that you value their work and depend on them to finish their assignments.
Set deadlines and follow up
Make sure every team member is aware of the deadlines if your team works on projects with set completion dates. Consider making a document that can be shared that includes the names of all team members and the due dates for each of their tasks. Team members can mark off tasks as they are finished, giving you a real-time view of what they have accomplished and what remains to be done. Follow up with team members who require assistance meeting deadlines and collaborate with them to create a plan to boost productivity.
How to highlight leadership communication skills
It’s crucial to draw hiring managers’ attention to your leadership communication skills when applying for a leadership position. Here are some strategies for doing that in your cover letter, resume, and during the interview:
Highlighting leadership communication skills in a cover letter and resume
Use the skills section of your resume to highlight your relevant leadership and communication skills for the position you’re applying for. These abilities can be listed using a bulleted list and a subheading like “communication skills.” Include your leadership communication skills throughout the work experience section of your resume by mentioning tasks that called for them.
Since your cover letter is a written communication, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your communication abilities. Write clearly and concisely and use positive and professional language. Prior to sending it to the hiring manager, double-check the document’s spelling and grammar.
Highlighting leadership communication skills in an interview
An interview is an excellent opportunity to showcase your leadership communication skills, much like a cover letter would be. Your ability to effectively communicate can be seen in how you respond to interview questions. Make wise word choices and refrain from using filler words in your responses. To improve any areas you are uncertain about and to get feedback on your responses, practice interviews with friends or family.
What is leadership communication skills?
Leadership communication is a type of communication that leaders most frequently use to convey information about the company’s culture, core values, mission, and important messages to foster employee morale and build trust. In actuality, it entails conveying a shared vision and motivating others to share that vision.
What are the 3 main leadership communication skills?
- Listening. The capacity to listen is the most crucial communication skill for leaders.
- Complimenting. People work for more than just money; they also want their work to be recognized and appreciated.
- Delegating Tasks Clearly. …
- Managing Meetings. …
- Positive Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication.
Why is communication skills important in leadership?
Good communication skills encourage people to adhere to the values and principles that their leader wants to instill in them by fostering better understanding and beliefs among them.