Leadership And Communication Always Go Hand-in-Hand

Leadership is all about communication. To be effective you have to articulate plans, congratulate good work and prepare people for rough times ahead. It's good to talk, so do it as much as possible.

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Leadership is all about communication. To be effective you have to articulate plans, congratulate good work and prepare people for rough times ahead. It's good to talk, so do it as much as possible.


Leadership And Communication Always Go Hand-in-Hand

Leadership is all about communication. To be effective you have to articulate plans, congratulate good work and prepare people for rough times ahead. It's good to talk, so do it as much as possible.

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Communication and leadership go together like eggs and bacon or like bread and butter. You get the idea. When it comes to business-to-business dealings, the same thing applies, as you need to make sure you are communicating effectively with both your employees and your clients alike.

You will meet different types of people from all walks of life, and if your message is not communicated effectively, you would not be leading effectively either. Here are some ways for you to ensure you are communicating properly.

Do as I Say and Do as I Do

There has to be consistency in your words and actions.  It would not look right if you tell your employees or your client’s one thing, but turn around and do the opposite when their backs are turned.

Your spoken language will always be scrutinized as your employees go through their day-to-day lives at work. That also applies to the things that you do and the decisions that you make: Are they consistent with your words, and are they consistent with your company’s vision, mission, or reputation?

All this is analyzed carefully by everyone – workers, clients/client representatives, investors – and all this reflects on you and your leadership.

"Nothing is more frustrating in the workplace than silence"

Let us consider a common example. Nobody will respect a company (and especially its leader) if it is known for unethical practices behind the scenes, despite an outward reputation of playing by the rules.  You will not gain any respect both if you pay your employees “slave wages” and make them work ungodly hours despite promises of competitive pay and a solid work-life balance.

Moreover, if you promise a new hire that they will get certain benefits, you will have to deliver. Expectations need to be set and met accordingly, and communicated with transparency.

Your words and actions define you as a leader, and that is what makes it very, very important to be everything you say you and your company are.

Aim for Positive Reinforcement

Some schools of thought suggest that encouragement or compliments only lead to complacency. If someone’s doing a good job, keep your mouth shut, or nod your head and say a few perfunctory words.

If someone messes up, unleash the fire and brimstone and let the whole world know that that person made a mistake so they do not do the same. That is not how you should roll if you are looking to be a good leader.

But these dark ages have long ended. The era of vitriolic bosses who will not think twice about shaming an employee for mistakes is over, and it has been for a while. In today’s work environment, employees respond better to positive encouragement and reinforcement, and perform better if they know they are doing a good job.

It is that oft-repeated quote from a commercial, “contented cows give better milk,” ringing true in today’s settings.

Always keep in mind that negativity will only foster more negativity. Do not make your employees feel like they should be on their toes all the time, as if they’re kids in the schoolyard hoping against hope that the school bully doesn’t pick on them and ask for their lunch money.

If clients notice that your employees are not happy, there is a good chance they would not want to do business with you.

happy staff

Happy staff give a good vibe and will attract people to your business

Instead, your approach should be built more on positivity through communication.  Do not hold back on praise and compliments – most workers like that. Mistakes should be dealt with rationally, and in private.  Walk around and ask someone, anyone, or better yet everyone, how they are doing.

Nobody likes a tyrant, after all – you’ve got to be more than just the person who pays their salaries, but also a listening ear, a mentor, and even a friend to your workers.

What is in a Name?

Another antiquated practice is calling employees by their last name, or simply a generic “Sir” or “Ma’am.” It may have worked decades ago, but nowadays, it is not good form to be on a last-name basis with employees, or worse, not to know or care about their names.

If you’ve got someone new coming in, maybe you can take note of their names and place a photo of them on a card, with their names right beside the photos. This allows you to easily remember who’s who. In addition, once you have familiarized yourself with that, the next step is to be on a first-name basis with said employees.

Saying “Hi, John” instead of a gruff and unapproachable “Mr Smith,” for instance, resonates better with employees. It makes them feel appreciated, simple as that.

Earlier, I briefly mentioned walking around and asking how your employees are doing. Management by walking around (MBWA) is definitely well and good, as it allows you to have good communication with the rank-and-file. However, if you have hundreds of employees, MBWA is not that practical.

You can also communicate with employees through email, or simply say “hi” or “hello,” keeping the first-name basis thing in mind.  As long as you have a few minutes a week and cover everybody in your office, you should be good in this area.

Now if you are dealing with clients, context clues mean everything. This is where dealing well with different types of people may become more important.

Be aware of those clues and cues and address a client representative in the way he or she prefers to be addressed. You always want to come about as professional, and to do what the proverbial Romans do if you are in negotiations with clients.

There is Nothing Worse than the Sound of Silence

Nothing is more frustrating in the workplace than silence. That is because it leads to a feeling of doubt among your employees, and with clients. What is next? Where do you go from here? Is there bad news a-brewing? Is there some sort of pleasant surprise on the way? Most of the time, however, silence is used as a tool to shield people from bad news.

However, relaying bad news could be the ideal thing to do. If you leave employees, for instance, conveniently protected from news of a rough patch ahead, they will be caught with their pants down when they get wind of the bad news, either from you or through the grapevine.

Telling them the bad news right away allows them to prepare. That too applies to clients, but for a more client-specific example, you should be transparent when setting their expectations and letting them in on a catch, if any.

If they back out of the deal, that is certainly not a good thing at all, but at least it is better than them being the last to know that there was a catch after all, or that they would not be getting something that they wanted. Word will spread about your unethical behavior during the negotiation process, and that could severely damage your reputation.

Instead of keeping your mouth shut about something unfavorable or potentially deal breaking, mentions it. You will, at least, be respected for being a transparent leader and good communicator.

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Leadership And Communication Always Go Hand-in-Hand

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