Sadly, many employees are promoted to leadership positions because of their technical skills and seniority without being mentored to develop the skills needed to lead. In these situations, when left to figure it out on their own, new leaders mimic the managers/ directors that came before them. And often the managers were promoted for the same reasons and lack the skills to lead and inspire others.
Effective communication is a powerful tool, yet many in leader positions guard what they say and the information they shared. Instead, leaders should be open and transparent, not just sharing information but explaining the why, not just the what and the how. This is especially true during times of change if we want employees to get onboard and to engage – and let’s face it, when is there NOT change happening in organizations?
Here’s what John Maxwell and other experts have to say about communication
- Simplify Your Message – “be clear, be clear, be clear.” Simple is best.
- Be Authentic – people want to know that you are real and that you value what you are communicating. Be yourself and speak from the heart.
- ‘See’ the Person – “be people oriented.” Focus on people and know your audience.
- Believe in What You are Conveying – People are extraordinary communicators when they are fired up about the message.
- Communicate with Gusto – let the vision, passion, humanness and vulnerability shine through!
- Use Stories: Sharing a story brings the topic to life. Stories are powerful tools that convey the message, vision, and mission.
- Don’t Forget Body Language – most of our communication is conveyed non-verbally. Be aware of body language — facial expressions, gestures, eye movement and contact, body position. Remember these all play a major role in affirming or undermining your message.
- Model Conviction in Action – Yes, believe in what you are communicating, but live what you are saying. What you do speaks far more than what you say.
- Seek a Response – The goal of all communication is action. Every time you speak to an individual or to a group, give them something to feel, remember, and do.
- Actively Listen – remember that listening fosters trust, respect and openness. Listening lets the other person know that their opinion matters.