Last week, we discussed how effective communication is everyone’s personal responsibility in the workplace. That being said, it’s even more important for those taking the lead. It raises the question, how can you be a communication leader?
Nothing is more confusing than a leader who says one thing but wants another. Where’s the set direction? The last thing you want on your hands is a befuddled team, lost by your own instructions. So how do you become a leader that can be adaptable when it comes to communication?
Key Questions/Topics Covered
How can a leader adapt through communication?
First, you have to choose your leading style. What does that look like? Once you decide, stick with it. Consistency is key. A leader “playing” on their own terms is a confusing one. Communicate when the time to have fun is appropriate and what needs to be accomplished to achieve this. Make sure your team understands the direction.
Secondly, do you have the ability to adapt? Do you know the audience within your team? If you’re the kind of leader focused on fancy diplomas and ranging vocabularies, then you might be missing your audience. This oversight is a significant barrier if you want to be an adaptive leader. So get to know your team members—all of them! What are their experiences?
Speaking of speaking – how can you be clear? Why be specific with individuals on your team?
Being transparent with your team comes down to the simplicity of expectations. Communicate what you expect to be done throughout your time frame to your team. To make it easier, you can even set daily or monthly goals for the team to keep them on track and meet certain deadlines. Stick with it, and don’t forget to implement those little breaks when certain goals are met.
When instructions are being given out, ask yourself: Have I told my team what we need to do? Do they understand how to get there? Is there a set goal that my team can work towards? These simple steps can improve your clarity regarding the specifics of a project.
Finally, be transparent with your team. If you want to have clear, effective communication, then your team needs to trust you. With the world we are in, your little lies will catch up with you. When they do, all of your work will fall apart. So build trust with your team and be transparent about the projects you are working on.
How to apply the open door policy
You see them all over your office, the placards preaching the open door policy where everyone’s opinions are valid. But how exactly do you create an environment where feedback is welcome? Well, we all love to say we don’t have enough time. For an open feedback environment, you need to make it! Ask yourself: Am I capable of being empathetic with them? Allow one-on-one time, dedicated to an individual team member’s employees.
It’s hard for someone to go see their leader if they feel like they won’t be listened to. So you need to demonstrate implementing the given feedback. Listen to your team members and act on it. A leader can’t say yes to everything, and sometimes you have to say no. When this situation arises, explain why you’re saying no and still acknowledge the concern. That’s how to have a true open-door policy.
In conclusion, by implementing these few key areas, you can help create an environment of open and clear communication with your team.
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