Communication is one of the most important skills for any leader. Good communication helps you to inspire others, get things done, set clear expectations and avoid mistakes, and build fantastic relationships with both team members and clients or customers. But good communication doesn’t come naturally to all of us, and even those of us who would consider ourselves excellent communicators can do with some help from time to time. Here are some effective ways that leaders can boost their communication skills.
Consider All Forms of Communication
Many of us are guilty of only thinking about verbal communication when we consider how we connect at work. But speech certainly isn’t the only way that we reach our team, our clients, or our customers. Written communication, in the form of letters, is still very important, and often underrated, and nowadays more than ever, digital communication, including things like email, and social media posts and videos, is a crucial way to reach people. If you want to improve your writing skills, you can learn more about both formal and informal written communication with a business writing course.
It’s harder to communicate when your time is chaotic. Being more organized gives you more time to speak to people, and also makes it easier to know what you want to say, what you need them to understand, or what you hope to gain from the conversation.
Make Time for People
Verbal communication with your team shouldn’t be something that’s rushed. If possible, take a few minutes each day to talk about the day ahead, and any targets or expectations that you have, and assign tasks. Then schedule regular reviews, and make sure you clear time for people when they ask for a conversation.
When it comes to communicating with both team members and customers, listening is often more important than speaking. Make sure you are listening, but also that you are taking the time to understand and asking for clarity if you need to.
Ask for Feedback
The people that you communicate with are typically the best placed to tell you how you could improve. Ask people if they think that you are clear, or what you could do to be more effective.
Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
Talking, or writing things down, is all well and good, but it’s pointless if you are unclear. Go into conversations, emails, or other forms of conversation with a purpose in mind. Know what you want to achieve, or what you want the outcome to be, and try to be as direct as possible.
But remember, being a good communicator doesn’t mean that you have to be reachable 24/7. In fact, it should mean that you don’t need to be. Set clear boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say no, or not reply outside of office hours.
Be Willing to Adapt Your Approach
We’re all different. You’ll have customers that love to chat on the phone, and team members that dread face-to-face communication. There will be people that you encounter that need very direct information, and others that prefer a less formal chat. Get to know the people that you communicate with and adjust your approach to get the best out of individual communications. For example find better communication and collaboration with customers with Cloud Contact Centre.
Communication is incredibly varied and important. Improving your communication skills and learning more about digital communication if you haven’t already embraced it, can be an effective way to improve your business, build relationships, and create a happy and productive workplace.