5 Must-Have Communication Skills for Leaders
Running a successful business isn’t easy. Great results come from great leadership skills and a dedication to empowering a high-performing team. While there are plenty of components that make up a successful company, including an effective product or service, and a great marketing strategy, few things are more important than communication.
Great communication is how leaders make sure that their teams are all working together simultaneously towards the same goals. The question for most leaders is which communication skills they need to work on most to inspire and motivate their teams. Here are just some must-have communication skills for leaders.
Although etiquette might not seem like an important business skill at first, manners are something no leader should be without. Every employee expects a certain level of respect from their manager, supervisor or boss. Leaders who know how to use manners appropriately create a better company culture, based on mutual social graces and friendlier interactions. A polite manager is someone that everyone in a team feels comfortable speaking with.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Great leaders also excel at understanding and showing emotional intelligence. This means that they know how to tune into the feelings and emotions of other people. Sometimes, this means taking extra care to support someone when they’re having a tough week. Other times, emotional intelligence simply means handling a difficult situation with grace, like when a manager needs to give negative feedback to an employee.
While it’s not always easy to pick up on what someone is thinking or feeling, great leaders attempt to tune into the needs of their team.
3. Body Language
The best leaders aren’t just masters of verbal communication; they also know how to translate body language too. Business people who know how to pick up on small changes in the body language of their colleagues and team members can often avoid conflict and ensure a better response from the people they’re talking to. Everything from eye contact, to facial expressions and hand gestures, can transform the meaning of a conversation.
Great communication relies on more than just talking. It’s incredibly frustrating when people pretend to listen but are more interested in being heard. The most motivational leaders take the thoughts and opinions of their teams into consideration when making decisions on behalf of the business. Leaders actively listen to their teams, make notes, and respond as necessary.
In some cases, great listening also means asking people to expand on what they say or taking the conversation further with a team meeting.
5. Knowing When to Be Assertive
Sometimes, great leaders need to know when they need to put their foot down and be assertive about a particular issue. It’s impossible to be a good leader without first knowing how to take charge. Although it’s important for leaders not to take their assertive nature too far, when they assert themselves in a positive way, the results can be fantastic, including more motivated, energetic, and inspired employees. Great leaders can spot the call for an assertive management style.