Talking and communicating with your team is about more than holding meetings and delivering speeches. How you communicate with your team is just as important as what you communicate. Your level of success as a leader will often come down to your communication skills. The following tips will help you to facilitate communication and increase the effectiveness of your team.
Be Clear and Direct with Your Communication
When you aren’t clear in your meaning, misinformation and confusion can be the result. This can lead to conflict waste time and distrust.
When you speak with your colleagues, you need to make sure that your meaning is clear. Break up complicated issues into smaller “chunks” of information so it is easier to understand. Sometimes, it can be a good idea to provide a handout that outlines the key points you want to emphasise.
Make certain that your team understands what you are saying by opening the floor so that they can ask questions for clarification.
Be Sensitive to Feelings and Mood
If you want others to understand you and listen to what you are saying, they have to be ready to hear. Pay attention to your team’s body language, and their general mood before you begin speaking.
Acknowledge the feelings of others when you begin speaking, especially if you need to discuss an emotionally charged topic. Avoid using the telephone or email alone; talk with people directly to minimise confusion.
When it comes to the performance of individuals, save comments for confidential one-on-one conversations.
Be Open and Build Trust
Communication is a literal two-way street. Your team needs to feel safe enough to be able to bring you their best ideas as well as their concerns. Make sure that your team knows you have an open door policy and it is safe for them to share information with you.
Take the time to get to know your team as individuals, as well as their needs and interests. This will help you to pair the right people to the right assignments, build rapport with one another and forge bonds of trust and respect.
Ask Questions and Listen
Make a point to be open and receptive to what your team members are saying to you. Make certain that you hear their actual meaning. Use your active listening skills to hear both what is said, and left unsaid. Ask clarifying questions to gain a better understanding and help you to ensure that both you and your team are on the same page.
Look for Opportunities to Bring People Together
No matter how well you and your team-mates get along with one another conflict will eventually arise. Always be on the lookout for potential personality conflicts and look for ways to increase understanding and co-operation on your team.
Search for ways to encourage your team to collaborate with one another to achieve goals and complete projects.
Personal integrity and accountability are two of the most important traits for a leader to have if they want to increase performance. The bedrock of these principles is honesty. Be upfront and honest with your team.
Lies create distrust, and this will kill your team’s morale. So be truthful when you communicate with your team, as well as others.
One area of communication that many female executives are often criticised for is a tendency to say they are “sorry” when they communicate with others. It is polite to show empathy for the losses of others; it is also good to offer a sincere apology when you have in fact have made a mistake. However, if you become known for apologising for things that are not your fault, there is a risk that your apologies will start to be seen as insincere.
So whether it’s saying “sorry,” or some other catchphrase, women in leadership need to be especially aware and careful with their word choices. Make sure that the tone and meaning of your words match and are appropriate for the situation.
Communication is an essential leadership skill for every female executive. Get in touch today to learn more about how Athena Coaching can help you to develop your leadership skills and assist you in overcoming the obstacles that have been holding you back in your career.