Leadership Communication Skills

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Become less reactionary and more proactive by redefining your communication.

Leadership Development Coaching

Effective communication is considered a necessary quality of any great leader. Our lives are influenced and formed, in many ways, by leaders. Our organizations, communities and countries are all led by men and women whom we count on to exhibit the skills of good leadership and to help build and shape the world in which we all live.

Among qualities like integrity, courage, empathy and respect, you will find clear and effective communication ranked at the top of the list of most sought-after leadership traits.

Leaders who are proficient communicators are able to connect with others and the information necessary to lead successfully. They can inspire, influence and convey in ways that align with the needs, goals and desired outcomes of their people, teams, organizations, industries and communities. Leaders who communicate well can motivate and encourage others to consider new ways of thinking, believing and acting, and they have the capacity to build belief and trust in their ability to lead successfully.


What Communication Skills are Important in Leadership?

To be considered a great leader, it’s crucial to master the art of effective communication. To lead and create success, you must learn how to connect with others in a meaningful and beneficial way.

There are many studies that have shown how substandard communication skills in leadership lead to lower productivity, performance and profitability, and higher attrition rates in companies.

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About Traci Philips, the Innate Coach

I use a unique process that defines language pattern markers and identifies areas for targeted improvement in both your work and personal life. While I’m based in North Carolina, I work with people all over the country. I will look forward to working together to help you gain a new level of clarity and awareness, allowing us to determine your true directives and how you can achieve them.

For leaders, good communication is also about the ability to inspire their people to collaborate around shared values, purpose and mission, to be motivated to want to work towards growth and improvement and to help the company remain agile and innovative.

If you are interested in improving your leadership communication skills, here are the focus areas that I work on with the leaders I coach.

1. Being a Good Listener

Good leaders listen to comprehend, not simply to respond.

Knowing the value of being a good listener is something all conscious leaders understand. Effective leadership is about knowing when to speak and when to listen, when to ask questions and when to move forward to make decisive choices.

Communication is first about connection, and to build this with those with whom you work and lead, it is important to demonstrate care by being curious and asking for others’ feedback, ideas and considerations. When you receive responses from others, it is also crucial to acknowledge and show appreciation for this feedback. Be sure to engage actively. Take notes and ask further questions about what they are sharing and welcome them to expand upon their thoughts and perspectives.

Also important to practicing great listening and communication is to be focused solely on the one talking and not interrupt. Creating an environment where it is safe to share, with limited distractions, and a protocol within the company culture that outlines how speaking and listening are done all are very helpful in ensuring that everyone understands and practices what it takes to allow for effective communication to flourish.

2. Understanding Different Communication Styles

Most communication issues stem from different communication styles and can cause misunderstandings, uncertain expectations and increased stress. Good leaders understand that not everyone communicates the same. These leaders engage from a place of seeking to know the ways in which their employees and colleagues come to understand and share information.

It is also important for leaders to know their own style of communication. For example, if you are an assertive leader, you communicate honestly, directly and expressively. For others in your charge whose style is more passive, this can cause a mismatch if you do not understand how to navigate and communicate to create connection and clarity across the board.

Knowing how to adjust your communication is crucial to being able to positively motivate, impact and lead your people and reach the visions and outcomes you have for your organization.

3. Seeking to Understand

The number one leadership skill listed most often these days is empathy. The ability to care about and understand your people’s feelings and what they are experiencing allows them to feel seen, heard and valued by you, which builds a sense of safety and importance. This impacts more than we may know and is at the core of building true connection and lasting, positive relationships that can withstand a lot.

Many studies have shown there is still a large discrepancy between the perceived importance by employees that the leaders within their company show empathy and those who reported they felt it was undervalued. One way to instantly improve communication and build better relationships and more connective culture is to work on ways to behave empathetically.

4. Precision & Comprehension

Focusing on clarity and meaning when communicating with others is key. Speaking in specifics around desired goals and outcomes, as well as giving clear instructions and timeframes where applicable, is a part of practicing good communication. It is also equally important to share any consequences to unmet expectations and how this will affect the overall assignment, project or program.

One way to ensure that there is clear comprehension of what you have conveyed is to ask for others to share what they understood from your communication. If they can correctly share, in their own words, what you have said, they have demonstrated comprehension.

When communications aren’t met with the expected results, see where you can simplify your message and/or offer additional information to clarify and help to better communicate your wishes.

The clearer you are, the more certainty you build within your organization. This is something that allows your people to feel safer and more secure in general and goes a long way in establishing a culture where they feel comfortable, valuable and valued.

5. Being Open & Honest

The importance of transparency is key, and communicating to create and increase this is crucial in leadership. One of the leading frustrations in many organizations is the feeling that one simply doesn’t know what’s going on at any one time. Changes aren’t being shared and communicated in ways that allow the members of a company to feel “in the know” and a part of the process. This creates countless barriers and issues within the culture and operations of a company.

Many times leaders will share that they don’t know the right way to communicate certain changes or new agendas. They also share that there are time constraints that play a role in actively keeping everyone in the loop.

My response to this is that it is not about finding the perfect way; it’s about finding a way and creating processes and procedures to ensure that any changes or updates in the company reach all who are impacted by these shifts, which ultimately includes everyone.

Finding ways to delegate the coordination of information helps with decreasing issues with time, and developing a chain of effective communication to ensure no one misses vital knowledge is a very important responsibility that all leaders must address and fulfill.

It all begins with openly communicating the mission, purpose and core values of the company and continuing to share the company’s objectives, opportunities and challenges. This builds a sense of buy-in and trust within a company culture and invites others to work together and express their own perspectives, solutions and ideas.

When leaders are open and honest about where they are and where the company is, it allows those whom they lead to feel safe bringing their own thoughts and needs to the table and adding their own voices to the mix. It empowers a sense of belonging and a feeling that they can actively contribute to the success and growth of the company and its culture.

6. Asking Crucial Questions

In her book, Dare To Lead, social researcher, author and speaker Brené Brown talks about “Rumble Starters.” These are ways to bring out any confusion or misinterpretation around things that are shared and communicated. It allows for the listener to better know and understand the motivations, thoughts and intentions of the speaker.

Good leaders who are good communicators use these types of open-ended questions and requests for clarity:

“Tell me more about that …”
“I’m not sure I’m clear about this, can you explain further?”
“Walk me through that, if you would …”
“What I’m hearing is …. is this what you are saying?”

Using this kind of lean-in language when communicating and seeking clarity allows your people to be fully heard, acknowledged and supported. It can draw out more thoughtful and complete responses and ensures that everyone is on the same page and aligned in their understanding.

My response to this is that it is not about finding the perfect way; it’s about finding a way and creating processes and procedures to ensure that any changes or updates in the company reach all who are impacted by these shifts, which ultimately includes everyone.

7. Getting in a Good Space

Mood and how you feel affect how well or poorly you communicate. Making sure you are in the right mental, emotional and physical space before communicating and engaging with others ensures that you will come from a more intentional and grounded place.

As they say, it isn’t only about what you say, but how you say it. This “how” includes your approach and demeanor when entering into communication. Most of the impact of communication comes from nonverbal sources, so being intentional about what state you are in during a communication is highly important.

In addition to thinking about your verbal delivery, be aware and intentional about your body language. Do you have your arms crossed or shoulders hunched? These signal a tense and closed-off state. No matter what your voice is reflecting, your body will send mixed signals if not aligned with your desired message.

8. Requesting & Offering Feedback

One of the greatest ways to build trust with your people is to ask for feedback. Good leaders understand that this offers them valuable insight and opportunities to learn and grow. It is also critical that you follow through on the feedback that is offered. Finding ways to actively and productively utilize feedback to increase the success of the company culture and business is the only way to ensure that constructive feedback will continue to be offered.

Being open and forthcoming about what can and cannot be done in certain timeframes and for particular reasons when it comes to implementing feedback is also crucial. Your employees and teams will have faith in you as a leader when you include them in all parts of decisions and execution around feedback that they have given. They will also feel more valuable and utilized in making improvements and supporting growth within the company.


Why are Communication Skills Important for Leadership?

Communications Skills

A leader is someone who inspires positive, incremental change by empowering those around them to work toward common objectives. A leader’s most powerful tool for doing so is communication.

As mentioned, effective communication is key to building trust, ensuring efforts and priorities are aligned and influencing positive collaboration and growth. When communication is poor, vital information can be lost or misinterpreted, and this affects relationships and processes, which ultimately impedes upon advancement and success.

All good communication begins from a place of self-awareness. It also focuses on the intentional outcome of building connection. The best communication also arises out of knowing your audience and being direct, specific, and clear. Refining your leadership communication skills is an ongoing practice (you won’t master them in a day), so consistent and dedicated application and development will be necessary.


How Can My Coaching Help You Improve Your Leadership Communication Skills?

Communication is at the core of effective leadership. If you want to influence and inspire your team, you need to practice empathy and transparency. It is also critical to understand how others perceive you through your verbal and non-verbal cues.

To increase your communication skills, it is important to assess where you are currently in this area and identify what needs improvement. My coaching will help you develop actionable goals and measurable practices to increase your success. We will create accountability by developing a plan and course of action to help guide and track your progress.

The power of intention is paramount when developing leadership communication skills. Most of the time after completing work with a client, I hear back that the experience was nothing like they thought it would be, and that they learned things about themselves they didn’t even know existed.

My overarching goal is for you to hone your capabilities and, through powerful language markers, enhance your leadership communication skills for greater success in professional and personal settings.


Why Would You Want Me to Provide Your Communication Skills Training?

I will use my background in linguistic coaching to help you overcome language limitations and become more effective, successful and powerful. My focus is not only on the meaning you give to the words you choose when telling communicating, but also on the rapidity of your speech, the pauses you take, and the patterned usage statements you use. Essentially, I gauge and measure your language and words to determine patterns that point to certain “truths.” When I present these truths to you and they resonate, we then having something to work with! It’s not magic – it is, in fact, applied science.

One of my personal “zones of genius” is communication, and I would like to help show and coach you to develop this skill within yourself to increase your effectiveness as a leader and within all areas of your life.

 Are you ready to work together? Contact me, Traci Philips, The Innate Coach, today, and let’s get started!