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February 5, 2018

Becoming an Effective leadercommunicator: 7 Steps to Success


One might be considered a strong communicator, but lack the other skills necessary to be a successful leader. However, the reverse does not hold true. Strong communication skills are paramount to successful leadership.

To understand what it takes to be a successful leadercommunicator, it’s important to understand what we mean when we say communication. This can range from an informal hallway chat with a colleague to a company-wide presentation to facilitating a staff meeting or huddle, to delivering the news of a major change impacting the entire organization.

Research from consulting firm Willis Towers Watson shows that employees believe that the ability to inspire and motivate is the most important driver of leader effectiveness. Also key, employees say, is the ability of leaders to clearly communicate plans and demonstrate an understanding of key success factors. So successful leader communication is truly critical. But how do you achieve success in this area? Consider these seven steps…

7 Steps to Become an Effective leadercommunicator:

1.   Be Personally Effective

  • Be approachable
  • Adapt your personal style to connect in the best way with your audience(s)
  • Deliver messages in a clear, interesting and engaging way
  • Watch and respond to non-verbal cues to improve comfort level and buy-in
  • Be responsive
  • Follow up
  • Demonstrate expertise
  • Meet commitments and do things on time

2.   Share Information Regularly and Appropriately

  • Be committed to sharing information with employees
  • Treat confidential information appropriately

3.   Create Line of Sight

  • Explain the company’s vision, mission and goals in ways that are relevant to employees’ jobs
  • Be a translator

4.   Communicate Change

  • Inform employees about changes taking place in the organization
  • Explain the reasons behind decisions
  • Be okay to not have all the answers (and help find them)

5.   Create Dialogue

  • Ask questions
  • Ask open-ended questions to gather more information and create dialogue
  • Seek diverse perspectives

6.   Give, Get and Use Feedback

7.   Advocate for the Team and Organization

  • Put the interests of the group/organization before your own

Thinking about the steps to becoming an effective leadercommunicator, which ones do you already apply on a regular basis? Which ones do you think may take some concentrated effort to incorporate into your everyday processes?

Consider making a list of simple actions you might take to address the ones that don’t come as naturally to you and work to apply at least one item from the list every day.

—David Grossman

Good internal communications can create a significant financial advantage for any organization. Get the data all CEOs need to drive financial performance—click below to download today!

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