One of the most important skills that any leader can possess is the ability to be an effective communicator. If you think about your typical day, chances are you spend approximately 80% of your time communicating with others. With that much time devoted to communication, it's a great idea to start off your new year by doing a quick assessment of your skills.
Do you hold credibility as a leader? Sure, your team might ask how high when you tell them to jump, but are they following you because they have to, or because of the credibility you have gained with them?
Does it matter, as long as they follow?
Actually, yes. If your team doesn't believe in you, and your message, they are probably just going through the motions, and possibly not giving you the best that they could.
Have you ever noticed that some people seem awfully lucky in life? They are successful, have promising business ventures, and everything good just seems to happen to them? We'll tell you a secret . . . they probably aren't lucky, instead - they were prepared.
Would you like to know one of the best secret tricks of improving your leadership ability, customer service and your overall business performance?
I don't mean hearing, I mean listening. And I will admit, I personally have to remind myself to listen, it is a technique I still try to achieve even today. I am a far more enthusiastic talker, which is usually the case with most poor listeners. A wise woman once passed on this great advice to me "you have 2 ears and one mouth, use them proportionately."
Team members know that one key to acceptance and respect is to talk and act the way others would feel comfortable. This creates familiarity and builds trust. If you use familiar words and concepts, everyone will be more interested and attentive. They will be more open to communication.
Try these five communication steps to increase your team's rapport and trust.
How many times have you heard a person tell someone they are an excellent communicator after hearing them speak? What people often forget is that speaking well is only one half of being an effective communicator. The other half is being a good listener. This is often the harder part.
People can be very "me centered" when listening to others, either they ignore, pretend to listen or selectively listen. It is the rare person who is "you centered" and practices empathetic listening.