How to Communicate Confidently as a Leader
Communication isn’t just a nice-to-have soft skill–it’s a vital toolset for any competent business leader.
Whether you’re speaking in front your entire team, giving one-on-one feedback, or participating in a meeting, effective communication makes all the difference between clarity and excitement, and confusion and apprehension.
When 86% of people at all levels of business feel that bad communication is at the root of most workplace problems, it’s no wonder that speaking clearly is such an important skill to have in today’s environment.
If you feel like you need to refine your speaking chops to step up your company in 2024, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to communicate confidently as a business leader.
Value and Listen to Employee Feedback
To communicate effectively, you first have to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to speak up. Employees might be reluctant to express their thoughts even to a head of a company who has the greatest of intentions.
Encouraging constructive criticism and feedback about the way things are run can arm you with the information you need to make changes to internal processes and future business decisions. Just as importantly, this method helps your employees feel like their concerns are taken seriously, that you respect their time, and that they have a say in how the company is run.
When you announce new changes, you can feel more confident that those changes are being made in the best interests of everyone who works at the company.
Keep Communication Simple and to the Point
Whether it’s a presentation or a discussion, adding another meeting to your employees’ calendars can be a point of contention.
By now, you’ve likely seen all sorts of statistics regarding how people feel about meetings, with a recent study by Harvard Business Review showing that 71% of senior managers feel meetings are unproductive.
Throwing in amusing anecdotes and metaphors to illustrate your point is fine, but be conscientious of your employees’ time with a few simple tricks:
- Speak in language that is easy to understand.
- Cut down on wordiness.
- Avoid jargon.
- Stay on topic.
Give Consistent Updates
While too much communication can cause frustration in the workplace, your employees will feel confused and worried if there isn’t nearly enough.
A study from Trade Press Services found that when employees hear news about what the company is doing and where it’s headed, 85% of them feel more motivated.
Here are common updates employees appreciate hearing about:
- New business goals for the year
- New hierarchies within the company
- New hires and employees who have left
- Changes to policies and processes
- Recent employee promotions
- New benefits
Your medium of communication may vary when giving these updates. Depending on the urgency and the significance of the news, you might provide them via email or through presentations during company-wide meetings.
Diversify Your Communication Channels
Not everything has to be a meeting or a presentation. While face-to-face communication can never be replaced, picking different channels for communication can help you get your message across while respecting your employees’ schedules.
When you’re ready to give an update or open the floor for discussion, here are some alternative mediums to choose from:
- A quick animated video
- A monthly or quarterly company newsletter
Great communication as a leader isn’t about stirring monologues–it’s about giving your employees the information they need to feel confident in the present and for the future. The first step is making sure your workers feel like they can give feedback, and the next all revolve around turning that feedback into action that can be communicated back to everyone.
If you need help filling roles at your company. K2 Staffing can help. Contact us today.