A smart executive understands that good leadership communication strategies go a long way. A study published in the Journal of Communication found that leaders spend up to 80% of their workday communicating with others. Poor corporate communication affects the bottom line and can cost companies billions of dollars in lost profits.
The good news about this statistic? If you have effective leadership communication strategies and skills, it will have a profound impact on your company’s success.
9 Effective Corporate Communication Strategies
Effective leadership communication is not all about how the leader communicates to employees. Leaders must understand that communication is a two-way process: it’s just as important that leaders know how to receive information as it is to know how to share it. If communication strategies only focus on imparting information, leaders set themselves up for failure.
Effective leaders make sure their team is heard and understood. Listen actively to each team member; each person brings a unique and valuable perspective to the table that you may not have considered.
Effective listening builds an atmosphere of trust and respect that trickles down to employees at all levels.
Be Curious – not Judgmental
When effective leaders hear unexpected views or feedback from employees, they respond with curiosity. They ask questions that explore the reasons behind the feedback.
Judgment damages your team’s confidence, discourages your team from speaking up, and shuts down important opportunities
Use the Correct Medium for the Message
Different mediums work best for different topics of communication.
If the topic is sensitive, many times in-person communication is best. Emails, texts, and other forms of communication are notorious for not conveying the correct tone or being misread or misinterpreted.
That said, some leaders may find written communication works better for them on touchy topics as it gives them the opportunity to gather their thoughts and address concerns their team may have in a positive and affirming way.
Announcements that need to be seen by large numbers of employees are better made at a team or company-wide meeting and followed up with an email summarizing the details to make sure no employees are missed.
Effective leaders will read the situation and choose the appropriate medium to best communicate the needed information.
Be Intentional About your Tone and the Goal of the Communication
When communicating, keep the goal of the communication in mind and be aware of how anything you say may come across.
For example, if discussing a problem or sensitive issue, your goal is to communicate the problem and avoid recurrence, not to blame or shame. Frame your wording with clear corrective direction that communicates what changes are expected without belittling the recipient.
An employee who starts to expect belittling or negative communication will avoid seeking feedback and lose motivation to improve.
Keep it Simple and to the Point
When you have a point to make, avoid watering it down with business speak and technical talk. If you speak around the issue too much the message is lost.
Your team may not always like what you are saying, but if delivered in a simple and respectful manner they will listen and absorb what you are saying.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
No matter how effectively you communicate, if you don’t walk the walk you will erode your message.
Behavior is an important form of communication. If you walk the walk and model what you say, you will build trust in your employees.
Communication is a two-way street. Ask questions of your team and solicit their feedback. When they respond, listen with openness and ask clarifying questions that show you value what they’re saying.
Employees who know their input is valued are more willing to offer suggestions and more motivated to come up with potential ideas and solutions.
Your team needs to feel they can come to you to discuss ideas or problems. Being available improves employee morale and builds an atmosphere that encourages communication.
If your schedule is frequently packed, schedule short one-on-one meetings with team members on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Personalize Your Interactions
Great leaders make everyone in the room feel important. Use each employee’s name when you are talking with them. Make an effort to get to know your employees on a personal level, show interest in their lives outside of work.
Remember that sometimes it’s the small things that can make a big difference, something as simple as direct eye contact with a friendly hello make a person feel valued and appreciated.
Effective Leadership Communication Strategies Can be a Game Changer
Effective corporate communication is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire, empower, and unite company employees.
One email or verbal communication from company leaders can have a wide ripple effect throughout the company – in a positive or negative way.
Improving your leadership communication strategies has the potential to improve profit, trust, workplace morale, and employee retention. To learn more about the widespread benefits of effective leadership communication strategies, check out last month’s article on the Benefits of Mastering Leadership Communication.
Are you committed to improving your leadership communication strategies, but struggling to find the time to do it?
Robin Kramer is an Online Business Manager that has been working with small businesses for 23 years. She can help you analyze your overwhelming to-do list to identify what tasks need your executive expertise, and which ones she can manage for you to free your valuable time.
To learn more about Robin’s skills and how she could help your business, contact her for a free consultation today.