Many qualities go into becoming a good leader, such as adaptability and emotional intelligence, to name a few. But one of the most important is an ability to communicate effectively and build trust. Good leadership communication should focus on connecting with your team and improving relationships with employees. As a leader, you should understand your team — their needs, concerns, and even working styles. This way, you can truly determine how you can build trust and guide them –– and by extension the company ––to success.
If you’re a leader looking to improve your communication, here are five skills to develop:
1.) Active listening
This is one way of showing your employees that you care about them. Communication is a two-way process, so beyond knowing the right thing to say at the right time, you should also learn to recognize when you need to listen. Set aside time to ask for team members' ideas, feedback, and concerns. Actively engage in the conversation as well, by asking questions and seeking clarification.
Body language is also important here, so be sure to maintain eye contact and nod your head once in a while to encourage others to continue sharing; many employees are hesitant to go too far when speaking to company superiors. Active listening shows your employees that you value what they have to say.
For the whole team to strive toward a certain goal, objectives need to be clearly identified. People also need to know why they need to reach a given goal, and how they can do so. The less transparent a leader is in these regards, the less motivated employees become, since they don’t know what they’re working toward.
Beyond the need to motivate, it's also important to note that transparency builds trust, in that it leads employees to expect that you'll give them whatever information is needed to move forward. Because of this, you s