The Evening Standard has recently identified good communication skills as essential for ensuring managers are not seen as ‘horrible bosses’. The article is clearly very light-hearted but it highlights important messages to all managers about the importance of creating excellent professional relationships and developing an authentic and credible communication style.
Successful senior managers and leaders develop their communication skills not only to inform and instruct but to inspire and engage with their staff. If leaders want to ensure that the operational, behavioural and strategic changes they envisage are implemented they need to ensure that they communicate these messages clearly and appropriately through the right channels to the right people at the right time. They need to be sure that their non-verbal communication matches the words they use or if they communicate by email that their tone of voice has the right balance of credibility and approachability.
When good leaders communicate they put themselves in the shoes of employees and think about how they can encourage their staff to engage with and believe in their messages – and in turn, engage with the organisation. Engaging and empathetic communication from the top is more likely to inspire loyalty and to motivate employees to work better and harder for their organisation
Good leaders are also good listeners and are conscious that communication is a two way process. They are able to ask the right questions and they value and give credit to the fact that many of their staff may have expertise that they do not share or solve problems where they have struggled.
Creating the right impact as a leader or senior manager is about much more than being liked or something ‘touchy feely’ but it is also about ensuring the credibility not only of the individual but also the organisation they represent. Good communication skills are not a ‘nice to have’ but an essential set of tools for any leader managing teams, projects or campaigns. Leaders or senior managers who have risen through the ranks more for their technical than their interpersonal skills will benefit from targeted communication skills training programmes that will enable them to become more aware of their own communication style and develop skills to create more positive impact on those they are leading.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2011