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13 Key Strategies For Improving Your Communication Skills As A Leader

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at December 8, 2021

Clear communication from leadership is imperative in a business setting. If goals aren’t communicated effectively or decisions aren’t shared properly with a team, it can hinder a business’s growth.

This isn’t just true internally: Poor communication with clients can have negative consequences, including loss of business. That’s why it’s important that leaders focus on cultivating great communication skills for their teams and clients.

Below, 13 Forbes Business Council members shared their best advice for improving communication as a leader. 

1. Adapt The Message To Your Audience

Clear communication from the top is essential for a business to be effective. The vision must be compelling and the purpose simple. Emotional intelligence is a leader’s greatest tool and often the greatest leaders are those who are self-aware and understand the need to adapt their message to the audience. They listen, learn and adapt their communication style. – Marian Evans, Elevate BC Ltd

2. Remember The What, Why And How

Your team yearns for clarity. Being able to concisely convey your mission and vision to your team is essential to ensuring that your team not only understands what you are trying to convey but also what is behind your mission and vision. Communicating what you are doing, why you are doing It and how you are going to get there will give clarity of sight and a path to execute for your team. – Bryan Jakovcic, Fusion Health


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3. Host Regular Meetings

Be very clear on the mission of the organization, as well as the clearly quantified goals of the organization. When we know where we are going and why, we can create the systems, processes, accountability and metrics necessary to track our progress. Regular meetings to communicate, encourage, equip, gauge morale and track progress are crucial to any winning team. – Cody Jefferson, Embrace The Lion

4. Cultivate A Safe, Engaged Environment

Focus on transparency, empathy and consistency to elevate trust and psychological safety within your organization, which are essential to creating healthy, collaborative cultures. In high-trust cultures, employees report less stress, higher productivity, less absenteeism, more engagement and less burnout. In a socially safe and stimulating environment, your people and business can thrive. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5

5. Include Employees In Goal Setting

Leaders need to grasp the real impact of socialized learning models to infuse culture, adding value to long-term impact and financial goals. Research tells us that 94% of employees say they will stay longer in companies that invest in their career development, and retention increases by 34% at jobs that offer professional development. Including employees in creating the annual learning and development goals is the best way to begin. – Susan Leger Ferraro, Peace, Love, Happiness Real Estate

6. Be Empathetic When Communicating

The most effective communication technique I know of is to actually listen to your team with an ear toward empathy. Once you understand and feel what is being communicated to you, you can then accurately respond in a communicative manner that is not just clear but is also heard and felt in return. – Steve Alkandros, New England Management Group/AR Property Services, LLC

7. Try Personality Tests

As a leader, you should always be learning and growing alongside your team. Teach your team that each person is valuable and has different personalities and viewpoints. Get them involved to understand each other with assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram tests. When you get to know each other, you earn value and respect because people are what makes a company successful. – Lisa Caprelli, Unicorn Jazz

8. Ask For A Third-Party Opinion

One thing to clarify is how effective you think you are versus how effective you are actually communicating. A very simple exercise is to practice a presentation in front of someone not involved and ask them to repeat what they thought was said. For most, there will be a disconnect between the two. Use that as a basis to revise to ensure what you want to say is actually getting across. – Howard Rosen, LifeWIRE Corp

9. Share Milestones, Challenges And Victories

If you feel you are communicating just the right amount with your team, then it’s probably not enough. Leaders should make a conscious effort to share milestones, challenges, concerns and victories with their teams at every possible opportunity. At first, it may feel like “overcommunicating,” but it’s the best way to include everyone involved and avoid misunderstandings. – Andrés de Jongh, Vikua

10. Be Transparent From The Start

Communicating with your team on a “need to know” basis only prevents employees from seeing the bigger picture, especially if you are not hitting your benchmarks. If a leader clearly articulates the company pipeline from the beginning, everyone will understand their roles and responsibilities in meeting the company’s goals. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing

11. Know Your Staff And Their Roles

Always greet your staff, each and every day. Know the names and jobs of the people who work for you, especially those in your office, no matter how big you get. Recognizing them as people first, then an employee builds their trust in you. Saying hello and asking what’s going on gives them a chance to feel heard. Be authentic and care. They will feel it and it will open the doors to communication. – Kevin Coker, Proxima Clinical Research, Inc.

12. Enlist Professionals To Facilitate Communication

Find someone who can identify and help solve the communication obstacles you face. Not every business leader is also a great communicator, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. It just means being aware of the problem and seeking the right kind of support. There are experts and consultants who can work with you one-to-one or even host seminars on how to improve your communication. – Taha Elraaid, Lamah Technologies

13. Listen More Than You Speak

Listen to your employees. A great leader will ask questions, encourage dialogue and listen more than talk. Decisions are best made with full understanding, and employees are more confident in an environment where they feel heard and valued. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb

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