“Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid” –Homer
As a manager and leader, it is crucial that you develop your communication skills. We all communicate in some way everyday, so many people believe this to be a basic skill, and one that should not really need developing. Sadly, many managers and leaders are not able to communicate effectively, leaving their teams uncertain, sometimes fearful and often dysfunctional.
Good communication ultimately builds trust with those who report to you and work with you. In his Forbes article Effective Managers Build Trust Quickly by Doing 5 Things Well (www.forbes.com, July 2012), Glenn Llopis lists ‘being a strong communicator’ as critical to a manager’s success. The other 4 elements interestingly enough, also rely on effective communication: build rapport, take a diplomatic approach, establish credibility and engage in conflict resolution.
Here are 5 tips to communicating effectively as a manager and leader – a reminder to cover the basics:
- Be totally present when someone is talking with you – give him or her your full attention and respect – actively and where needed, empathetically listen!
- Remember we can all have different perspectives on the same situation; try to understand the other person’s view of the world
- Prepare important conversations and meetings well – ensure you have structure, relevance and clarity
- Engage others with questions – whether asking for clarity or asking for input, use effective questions often (yet remember, it’s the quality, not the quantity of questions that is important!)
- Try to think before you speak – make sure that what you say is what you want to say!
Happy and effective communicating!
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