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Communication is an age-old challenge in leadership. The good thing is, there are things that you as a leader can do to become more effective in your communication with your team.
Effective communication will help you not only prevent problems and misunderstandings with your team but solve them when they do come up.
If your team clearly understands your expectations, they will work to help you make those expectations come true. However, many leaders don’t explain what they want, how urgent it is, or what the quality standard is.
Explain your expectations clearly and recognize that when someone isn’t meeting them, you need to go back and make sure they clearly understand what the expectations are.
Asking questions as a leader is important because it allows you to gather information.
Don’t ask closed-ended questions such as, “Did you know that was a problem?” Closed-ended questions only warrant a yes or no response. Great leaders ask open-ended questions like, “What caused that to happen?” or, “What seems to be the problem?”
When you allow the person to contribute their ideas it makes the communication flow in both directions rather than it just being one-way.
You have to pay attention in order to listen.
When your employees need your attention, make sure that you’re not distracted by something else that’s going on, and that you actually pay attention to them. It can also be helpful to repeat back what they said to you so that they know you heard them.
By being an effective listener, you can become a more effective communicator.
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