(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez)
Have you ever known a special leader that wasn’t an outstanding communicator? A leader has many roles, but none is more important than communicating. When your content, tone, timing, method, and delivery work effectively, the other roles fit better.
Leaders realize that ultimately their team is their key asset. Therefore they are sensitive to how and when their spoken or written words might dash enthusiasm, cause confusion, or add to the burden of the team. Whenever problems arise, they make the issue the adversary and not their people.
The best leaders never impose their will. They know that—no matter what they’re saying—The way they deliver their message is more important than the words they choose – method, timing, tone, candor, etc. They exercise tactical empathy, meaning they are able to see things from the other side’s perspective be it good news or bad, disappointment or criticism, crisis or calm. People will observe their leader like a hawk and the effective leader will never lose sight of this. Are your communications understandable to all?
Leading and communicating is never routine or easy. Practice your message in private or reread and sleep over your written word when possible. If you are not sure about your effectiveness, secure some independent feedback, maybe a coach or consultant. Whether you fancy yourself as a team builder, director, cheerleader, mentor, or other leadership role, your success in them will be dependent upon your communication skills.