5 Ways to improve your communication skills
Good leaders are also good communicators. Ultimately, it is impossible to transform a strategy into action without being able to connect with your team, encouraging them, inspiring them and listening to their concerns.
That said, not all bosses are good leaders and that, many times, is exactly when their communication skills are poor.
We have already mentioned that proper communication allows employees to better understand the culture of the organization, learn about the company’s goals, think strategically to achieve them, improve processes and know the purpose of the company and their jobs. On the other hand, poor communication can risk everything, since any relationship can end when communication does not work.
Check out some strategies that can help you improve your communication skills:
1. Ask for feedback
This first step can be difficult, but you need to find out what others really think about your communication skills. Ask your team, peers and supervisors for a frank assessment of your writing, verbal and presentation skills. Explain that you want to improve those skills and that you welcome all constructive criticism.
If you feel that your co-workers are hesitant to give such feedback because they fear negative repercussions, consider conducting an anonymous survey.
2. Know your audience and adapt
People are different, and good leaders must understand the diverse needs of their employees and adapt their messages and format. Your Generation Z workers may, for example, want frequent, more informal feedback, while others may prefer monthly meetings and scheduled conversations. Understand your employees so that the message, even if it is the same, reaches and is understood by different profiles.
3. Make a greater effort in times of crisis
Good communication is especially important during big events, such as a merger, and in times of crisis, for example. But it can be tempting, with all you have to do, to avoid a lot of meetings and conversations. However, a time of change is ideal for keeping people on your side. Lack of information can lead to frustration, confusion and low self-esteem. So make team communication a non-negotiable aspect of project and change management.
4. Listen more
Listening is an important – not technical – skill for all professionals. Team members need to know that you will take their concerns seriously and, to do that, you need to be attentive. Active listening means giving someone else your attention, observing their actions and focusing on their words, rather than formulating a response as they talk to you.
5. Be available
In this age of remote work, a literal “open door” policy may not be relevant. However, the concept of keeping the door open for communication is still very applicable in a modern workplace.
Be an accessible boss, both physically and digitally. Offer the worker many options for communicating with you, whether in person, via e-mail or by phone. Above all, check whether team members feel welcome and not as if they are interrupting you.
Remember: good communication increases productivity, reduces double work, generates good results and, without a doubt, builds relationships.