Often times while leading people the hardest thing to do is communicate well. It’s an every day struggle. It’s not something that we figure out then move on to the next problem. It’s like a fine skill that we hone in over the course of our life. My guess is that it takes a very unique leader to focus in on communication. But, we all know what it’s like to not have a leader like that. We’ve probably experienced it at some point. Maybe it’s been us!
I don’t need to list out the symptoms of poor communication. We know what it feels like. We know how it demotivates. Ultimately, I believe it’s what can make or break us as leaders. The problem is it can take a while to track down unless you are actively looking for it.
Here’s where the Communicating Leader comes in. The list below explains how ideal communication comes from a leader and how to be proactively working on communicating well.
- The RIGHT information is communicated - Sometimes as leaders we share the wrong information. We need to learn how to really focus on what people need to hear. That way we aren’t taking up to much time and they aren’t checking out because we share info that’s not important.
- Information is communicated ON TIME - This is huge. To often leaders jump the gun or wait to late when sharing information. This is a practice, a skill. Learn how to time your communication right. Learn when your people are ready to hear it.
- It’s communicated to the RIGHT PEOPLE – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across situations (or heard of them) where the wrong people know the right information. This can be extremely de-motivating to those you lead, extremely. Find out where you communication leaks are, so that the information is going through the right channels.
- DON’T HOLD INFORMATION as a power play - A leader who doesn’t trust his employees holds information from them. A leader who is insecure, holds information from them. Don’t be that leader. Learn how to trust your employees. If there is a trust issues, address it! Don’t be insecure. Don’t hold the info over their head. Those you lead love it when they know they are in the loop.
- Finally, COMMUNICATE CLEARLY – This is simple, but it’s very hard. It takes knowing your employees and knowing yourself well. Learn how you communicate, and how others like to receive communication.
Here are a couple of questions I’d love to hear back from you on. Have you ever had a major communication problem? How did you fix it? Are you annually or quarterly asking those you lead or work with how you are doing at communicating?