There are six basic functions of management that every effective leader would benefit from mastering: Planning, visioning, staffing, organizing, communicating and governing. Of all these basic functions, the one that ties them all together and that could make or break a leader is — communication. Effective communication in leadership means more than passing messages across. It is about motivating, connecting with and inspiring people for better outcomes.
Great communicators are motivators
Traits like charisma and annunciation of words come into play, and ought not to be disregarded, however, if a leader is to genuinely connect with their team, they need to be able to identify what motivates and drives them. This means being able to read a room and understand the moods, dynamics, concerns and attitudes of those concerned. A leader can then use this information to adapt their message to resonate with and meet the expectations of the team.
Great leaders personalise their messages
Sir Richard Branson, one of the world’s most revered business leaders, has a unique way of running his vast empire. Not only does he hire the best people to work with him, he gives every one of his employees a voice. When a leader stops issuing corporate commands and starts conversing with their team(s), they can easily find ways to motivate them to great heights. Furthermore, once the team recognises that a leader truly values their contribution, they will be more inclined to meet the set targets; due to feeling invested in and connected to the outcome.
Great communicators do not let their egos get in the way
Every leader has an ego; it is a part of why they are so successful, they believe in their ability to lead and produce results. Effective communication is however about much more than simply getting your way and imposing authority over others. It is about empathy. When a leader truly listens to their team and demonstrates an openness to their ideas and contributions, the team’s respect and faith will increase and they’ll be more deeply engaged with the overall purpose and vision.
Great communicators have a high technical command of the message
It’s helpful for leaders to exhibit a technical understanding of the messages they are conveying; delivering clear directions on what to do and how to achieve the desired result. Unless a leader has a high command of the technicalities involved i.e the what and the how of it all, then they will potentially come off as a leader without substance. The consequence of which being a swift erosion of trust and belief from their team.
Mastering the art of communication and consciously practising these principles for maximum impact is not only a great disciple, it could actually be fun! Certainly, it will be rewarding when deeper connections and stronger trust build within your teams.
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at email@example.com.