Leaders must be effective communicators. They must accept 100% responsibility for the success of all communications. When what they communicated was fully understood by those it was communicated to then and only then has successful communication taken place.
Authentic Leaders never assume that communication has taken place merely because they said something. They don’t use more words than are required to clearly communicate. They don’t use bigger words than needed to be completely understood.
They also don’t blame others for their failure to communicate effectively. They ask follow-up questions of the person they are talking with to determine if what was heard matches what they said.
Notice I said “talking with,” not talking to. The most effective communicators understand the difference between a monologue and a dialogue. Authentic leaders know that true communication is an exchange of information. That’s why they listen as much as they talk, actually many listen more than they talk.
Lack of communication or miscommunication is the genesis of most conflict.
If you’re a leader and your people didn’t understand what you communicated then you didn’t communicate. At least not effectively. You may have been better off saying nothing at all.
Never mistake talking for communicating. Speak and listen. Verify what was said was actually heard. Verify what you heard was actually said. Authentic leaders don’t guess at what was said and they don’t assume what they said was heard.
Poor communication skills can stop the momentum of the best organizations. It can damage the morale of the of even the most positive people. It can undermine the culture of a company. Poor communication starts more rumors than a room full of gossiping fools.
Improve your communication skills and you’ll improve all aspects of your leadership. Struggle with your communication skills and all of your relationships will suffer as a result.
They are called communication “skills” because like any skill they can developed and enhanced. You only have to commit to make it so!