Four Tips On How To Develop Your Communication Skills.
Leadership is influenced by all kinds of factors. It’s influenced by technology, team work, power, intelligence, authority, adaptability, versatility and communication skills. However, of all these different qualities, communication skills are often ignored by many up and coming leaders. The reason behind this is because people equate communication with “just talking,” which is unfortunate because communication is more than just about talking or being talked to. It’s also about establishing trust, managing conflict and creating a sense of openness between you and your subordinates, clients and colleagues.
However, in order to put these various factors into perspective, we will need to consider how communication influences leadership. So just how important is communication when you are the leader?
In order to answer that question, we will need to review the definition of leadership, especially as it relates to team building. Although it’s easy for a leader or group of leaders to say how their “door is always open,” establishing a reliable line of communication between you and your team members is not something that can easily be done, particularly if your team members and employees don’t trust you (or each other).
In other words, communication is not just about what you tell your staff and employees, it’s also about:
- The tools you use to communicate with your subordinates, clients and colleagues.
- The willingness of your staff and colleagues to have an open discussion with you.
- Your ability to handle sensitive issues.
- Your ability to resolve conflict
- Your ability to be impartial when problems arise.
Admittedly, mastering these different aspects of communication will take time, but once you have figured it all out, everything else will fall into place. Your employees, partners and customers will be more open to you, and more importantly, they will trust you. Moreover, by developing excellent communication skills, a leader will also be able to:
- Filter out inaccurate information
- Establish better relationships with people around them
- Help people open up to their message
- Avoid social friction
In order for potential leaders to develop their communication skills, there are certain strategies and pointers that needs to be considered. So if you’re in the process of developing your communication skills, here are several tips to help you get started.
Consider Your Communication Strategy
The first step in developing your communication skills is to consider your goals. How do you plan to communicate with people around you? Do you prefer a more personal approach, or do you prefer to address people as a group?
Consider how your audience might react to your approach and adapt accordingly.
Also, consider which medium of communication you want to use. Do you want to focus on emails, cellphones, video mail, formal letters, text messaging or the person to person approach? Consider how each medium will change your message, and choose your medium wisely.
How Do You Deliver Your Message?
Aside from your communication strategy, you will also need to worry about delivery. You will need to deliver your message with conviction. You will also need to relate each message (whether good or bad) to your long term goals as well as to the team’s best interest. In delivering your message, you will also need to identify proper solutions and course of actions. Delivery is a little tricky to master, but it is one of the most important aspects of good communication.
Learn to Listen
Listening is arguably the most important aspect of communication. It requires an open mind, the ability to identify core issues, a willingness to receive constructive criticisms and the ability to confirm one’s own ideas. Listening is also about making the right assumptions about your peer’s motives, emotions and feelings in relation to what they are talking about. This skill is not easily mastered, but it is something that anyone can develop, particularly if you talk to a lot of people regularly. For example, simply listening to what they have to say while observing their body language will slowly develop your ability to listen to people, and at the same time, discern what’s going on inside their heads.
Get A Team Building Expert To Help You Out
Finally, communication is more than just about one person. It concerns the whole team. So in developing your own communication skills, you may want to develop your own team building skills as well. In this, the services of a team building expert may come in handy. This is because good communication is often useful in situations where decisive thought is required, and decisive thought requires group cohesion, which is one of the goals of team building and communication.
On the other hand, a team with poor group cohesion will often lie or twist the truth because its members feel that they don’t know how to trust each other, thus leading to miscommunication. A team building expert can eliminate these sorts of problems, and improve your team’s productivity and communication skills in a very significant way.