Leadership and communication go hand in hand. Whether you manage a small team, a large staff or an entire branch, your ability to effectively communicate can be the determining factor in the success of your project, department or business.

Example is Everything

There’s a reason the phrase “lead by example” comes up in most discussions of management techniques. Information communicated through actions is often taken more seriously than information communicated with words. If you want to set a standard in your workplace, you need to be willing to meet that standard yourself. Act as you think your ideal employee should, and you will start to see your team following suit.

You Probably Don’t Have an Oversharing Problem

Employees are used to receiving communications through their phones the moment it becomes newsworthy. This standard of instant communication can lead people to the opposite conclusion that if they haven’t heard about something, it isn’t important. Although you might feel as though you spend too much time sharing updates with your staff, the truth is that they rely on you to provide them with information.

There is no feasible way for employees to know something you haven’t told them. If you find yourself frustrated by your team’s lack of cohesion, consider whether you have fully briefed them on your project’s goals. A small oversight on your part may be preventing them from completing things on their end.

Communication Goes Both Ways

You rely on your employees for information just as much as they rely on you. Make it a habit to ask for updates and remain current on the status of projects in your workplace. As you check in with your staff, practice active listening. Address the concerns they bring up and become aware of emotional dynamics as they are presented to you. Your ability to listen will increase your ability to communicate in general.

The No-Gossip Policy

Workplace gossip is often defined as communication about the private or personal affairs of others. A culture of gossip reduces trust, decreases productivity, and changes teammates’ perceptions of one another.

As a manager, you may be privy to the personal information of your team. Set a standard of complete confidentiality with these issues. Employees should be encouraged to discuss personal matters with either management or human resources when necessary. At the same time, they should be discouraged from bringing up their opinions about the personal affairs of others.

Healthy communication creates an effective and productive workplace. As a leader, don’t be afraid to share information or bring issues to the table. If you address your staff with respect, tact and confidence, you will find that they are eager to listen and move your ideas forward. If you aren’t sure how you could improve as a business leader, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your employees will be glad you did.

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