Great leadership all starts with exceptional communication skills. In fact, studies show its the number one skill that successful leaders possess. So whether you’re just trying gain leadership in the office, or trying to manage an entire company, it’s worth brushing up on.
Thankfully, anyone can become a better communicator, and therefore a better leader. Here are some ways to pull it off:
Great bosses learn early on that there is a very good reason why humans were given two ears and only one mouth. Not only do people want to know that you are listening, they are craving to actually be heard. In fact, being a good listener is proven to be one of the most important traits of successful leaders.
That’s why exceptional bosses constantly practice active listening – they make a sincere effort to understand what their employees are saying, and they actively show they’re paying attention.
Make time for praise
Harvard research has found that the amount of praise given to a team is directly proportional to their amount of success. Even low-performing teams saw radical improvement through nuggets of encouragement.
Even when you’re pressed for time, know that a little bit of praise goes a long, long way, and is one of most important communication skills. It not only makes hard-working employees feel appreciated, but it gives them direction for continuing on the path to greatness.
“Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given. They work to sharpen them.” – Simon Sinek
That’s not to say that exceptional leaders are giving out praise 100 percent of the time. When push comes to shove, they do give negative feedback, but in a way that’s more effective than most.
Instead of immediately lashing out with anger, they give feedback in a calm manner, and only if it’s something actionable. The next time you give feedback as a leader, pause and reflect if there’s actually a way to improve – otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air instead of improving your communication skills.
Are there any communication skills you’ve used to boost your success? Share them with me on Twitter!