Whether you’re leading your own team or an entire company, solid communication skills are an absolute must. It sounds obvious, but have you taken the time to analyze and work on what areas of communication are necessary to move your startup in a powerful direction? Communication skills are about having people understand you, having people believe in you and your message, and building not only a career but also building your brand!
Let’s take a look at how great leaders communicate. Remember, communication is a two-way street where you should also be asking team members for their thoughts. If you listen and respond with open and constructive feedback, you’re on your way!
Transparency And Honesty
These are two qualities a leader must always express when the goal is genuine two-way communication. Being honest and exuding transparency in a clear manner is not only needed to build ideas, but honesty and transparency are qualities that are always appreciated when they’re communicated clearly and if needed, constructively. Each earns respect and team members will appreciate you for them.
Also, remember that the sensation of vagueness or being left in the dark is something no one appreciates whether we’re talking to friends, family, team members, or our leaders.
Empathy And Understanding
The best way for a leader to express empathy and understanding is to build rapport with team members. This means eye contact when speaking and listening as well as greeting people with handshakes. In most contexts, hierarchies are assumed so there’s no need to stress your own perceived importance.
Be humble, listen to others, speak in everyday language, and go to where your team is working whether it’s their cubes or a relaxed set of office couches! When you’re in your team’s presence, remember to also acknowledge their efforts and praise a job well done, even if your underlying message is a constructive one about improving in some other area.
Ask For Feedback
It’s always important to find out if your message is being received and how people are responding to your communication style. This could prove an important opportunity to check out what exactly you’re going to need to work on. Remember, there’s always room for improvement whether you’re just starting out or the CEO of Apple.
The other important thing to remember about this particular feedback loop is that it can also be an opportunity for you to give suggestions and improve the communication skills of your team members. As a leader, it’s important to share the knowledge whenever you have the opportunity to do so, so be generous, be open, and take your team to the next level.
If you begin with these three points, I’m confident you’ll begin to improve your own communication skills as well as lead in a more powerful way. Do you have any points or advice you’d like to add? Share them in the comments!
This article was originally published by Killer Startups
Author: Daniel Melo. Daniel finds writing to be a positive and relaxing way to process his experiences. Luckily, he’s in a position where he can spend much of his time doing just that! When he’s not writing, he enjoys taking photographs, playing music, and having a nice chat or two.
Published: November 25, 2013