Successful business leadership is all about effective communication. In fact, success in every professional capacity has to do with your communication skills. Since so much of the work environment revolves around people, it stands to reason that interacting with your clients, fellow team members, and employees is essential to getting ahead in business.
But communication isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Even someone born with the gift of gab has to learn to thrive in a professional setting. Here are a few tips that can help you take your interactions to the next level.
Watch Your Nonverbal Cues
When it comes to communication, you may be saying more with your body than your vocal cords. Maintain eye contact with your team and hold yourself with confidence. At the same time, though, you should avoid sending negative signals by crossing your arms over your chest or staring at your mobile device when someone’s speaking to you.
Listen to Your Team
The truth is, it isn’t as much what you say as whether you listen or not. Get to know your employees’ various communication styles and respond in a way that satisfies their wants. Practice active listening, which lets your employees know that you hear what they’re saying. Over time, you’ll find your team will begin to see their input as valuable and, as a result, will be more engaged.
The biggest communication mistake you’re probably making as a leader is not communicating in the first place. It’s one of the top complaints of employees, after all. Make sure you keep your team looped in on what’s going on with your business. You should also make a point to issue clear directions and offer positive feedback on a regular basis.
Know Which Method to Use
These days, there are so many ways to communicate it can get a little confusing. You should try to avoid calling a full meeting over something that can be handled in an email or Slack chat. Pick up the phone when necessary but know your team well enough to be aware of their own individual preferred modes of communication. If you make life easier for everyone on your team, morale is likely to stay high.
Communication is the foundation of every good business. It’s important to hone your own communication skills. Doing so will ensure you excel at everything you do, including leading your team. As you start to work at it, you’ll find it becomes as natural as breathing.