One of the biggest challenges that comes up for many managers and business leaders is miscommunication as well as problems communicating ideas and the goals of a project or the company. When you’re searching for ways on how to lead a team, it is vital for you to develop more effective communication skills in order to inspire your workforce to work harder and create new ideas or bring more productivity to the table.
Communication can be a major part of improving people’s environment at work and creating more productivity for a company. Boosting morale and creating a greater bond or relationship among staff can make a big difference in putting your company on the map. Below we outline a number of ways that you can use to develop more effective communication skills and boost your leadership ability.
4 Tips for Business Leaders to Generate Effective Communication Skills
1. Ask for Feedback
In order to improve your communication skills, you should seek out honest feedback from other managers, your team members, and coworkers, according to an article from Entrepreneur. This will help you become a better communicator since other people’s advice could help you find areas where you could improve your communication abilities.
2. Understand Nonverbal Communication Cues
In one study, it was found that 55 percent of all forms of communication is nonverbal, which means understanding people’s physical cues is important in the business world. If you want to more effectively communicate with your staff, be sure to stand up straight and have good posture. Do not slouch or fold your arms in order to look more professional.
You should, instead, maintain the entire space you’re located in and keep eye contact with the individuals you are speaking with. You can also move around in your particular space including using your hands to communicate your thoughts.
3. Remove Visual Aids when Making a Presentation
Various executives have gone forward and removed the use of visual aids among their workforce when teams or individuals are making presentations. For example, Steve Jobs created a rule at Apple that banned the use of PowerPoint presentations in order for people to improve their communication skills without relying on extraneous props.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg also removed the use of PowerPoint presentations when people were speaking about a project or when providing relevant feedback. Essentially, using visual aids is believed to actually hurt communication instead of help it.
Instead of including visual aids, an attempt to integrate storytelling into your presentation and focus on nonverbal cues when communicating with your audience. Only use visual aids when it is truly necessary to get your point across.
4. Embrace Listening
Another important tip to ensure you have effective communication skills is to become a good listener. You’ll want to decide when it is more important to talk and when it is more important to listen. For example, talking during your presentation is expected, but if a team member comes to you to discuss difficulties they’re facing, you’ll need to listen more.
Embrace listening in order to better understand your staff. Be sure to listen more than speak. This way you will be able to connect well with people. First listen to your team members’ ideas and then you’ll be able to offer a more thoughtful response that takes these ideas into account.
How You Can Develop Effective Communication Skills
There are particular strategies you can take to make sure you are becoming a more effective speaker. Forbes reports that recording or watching yourself speak can be helpful. Seeing and hearing yourself on video or tape recorder may make a big influence in improving your speaking skills.
Be sure to listen and watch the video of yourself speaking. This will help you see areas where you can improve or the skills you may be lacking. In fact, you can record a meeting you have with your coworkers.
Take a look at how you answered questions during the meeting and determine whether you provided useful advice and actually listened to the questions. How did you give instructions? Was it easy to understand? All of these areas are vital for improving your communication skills. Looking back at your video will help you identify any mistakes that you can prevent during the next presentation.
Another key strategy for improving your communication capabilities is to take part in group communication exercises. Effective communication skills need to include improvisation instead of merely a memorized script.
Group exercises can help you create a closer community with your staff members that works better together. These group exercises will also help boost your speaking and listening skills. You can find relevant exercises online for your business team or you can even play boardgames or charades to boost your communication, since these games focus on negotiations and working together.
Key Areas Where You Need Effective Communication Skills
Business leaders are constantly on the go communicating with investors, clients, vendors, and coworkers every day. However, too many managers and executives do not spend enough time improving their speaking skills in certain areas. In order to inspire your team and keep your stakeholders secure about your company, you’ll need to be a good communicator when using email or making presentations, according to an article from Entrepreneur.
Your writing skills are important. You’ll need to have well-written emails and even LinkedIn messages when speaking with clients or team members. For example, if you send badly written emails, you may not have a chance to gain a client.
If you write a strong and effective email, however, it is more likely to be opened, read, and replied to. Leadership is also about having effective speaking skills that inspire people and motivate workers to be more productive and develop new ideas. In order for a company to succeed, you will need to effectively communicate the message and goals of your business and essentially bring passion out of your workforce.
Having strong presentation skills and potentially using eye-catching images to get your message across during a presentation can be very helpful. Many clients and investors expect you to make a presentation to sell your product, which means you’ll need to have strong storytelling and salesmanship abilities. You’ll want to learn ways to improve your presentation skills in order to make more of an impact on your audience and speak more clearly.
Listening well is also important especially when your customer is in need of services or a solution to a problem. By listening more carefully, you’ll be able to solve more problems across your company. This will help you better understand the needs of your customer base.
Networking at various events is also an important part of being a superior business leader. As such, you’ll need to have strong communication skills when networking. Meeting people in person, shaking hands, and offering your card can be a great way to expand your business and gain more clients. You can also build strong relationships in more intimate places such as a coffee shop.
Lastly, it is vital to have a strong understanding of nonverbal cues. Understanding body language can go a long way toward improving your communication skills. You will want to have a strong presence when making a presentation or meeting with a client.
This can go a long way toward getting a new client or expanding into a different market. In fact, many people fail to listen well, which means your body language can go a long way to securing a contract and growing your company.
>> Recommended reading: The Link Between Productivity, Workplace Culture, and Health
Tools to Help You Communicate Better
There are a wide variety of tools that can help you become a better communicator. Time management software such as the Runrun.it tool can help you communicate quickly and easily with your team. Runrun.it provides you with a timeline of the project you’re working on including a general history of the project and the comments left by collaborators. This system of comments can help your team communicate better and keep everyone on track with a particular project.
Using Runun.it software, you will be able to create tasks for each project and assign or delegate what tasks every team member is responsible for. You can track your team members’ progress and everyone is notified based on the comments underneath every task. You’ll also be able to upload relevant documents and files for certain projects or clients as well as make comments about key items.
Best of all, this time management software includes clear deadlines and automatically logs how much time is spent on each project or task. Additionally, everyone has access to a customizable dashboard where relevant metrics are stored. If you’d like to see if Runrun.it software is a good fit for your company, click here for a free trial.