As a leader, communication is a necessary skill that can break or make an organization.
If you aim to become a leader, are transitioning into a leadership role, or are struggling as a leader currently, you need to master these three critical skills.
When someone approaches you with a question or turns to you for guidance, they should be able to trust that you will respond in a positive and reliable way.
Failing to be consistent with your words, behavior, and demeanor can damage trust relationships.
As Hanna puts it, “I don’t ever want anyone to ever wonder what kind of mood I’m going to be in. That takes their focus from the substance of our negotiation, conversation, or dialogue”.
You need to build this sense of consistency with your team.
As a leader, you should be level headed and not let your emotions take away from your leadership skills. It can take months to build rapport, but a poor choice in words or apathetic reaction can ruin a well-built relationship in seconds.
Proper communication can’t take place if your peers and teammates aren’t comfortable coming to you with their ideas and issues.
You’re a leader, and your team should feel as if they can come to you with anything they need.
The best way to build an approachable demeanor is to present yourself as someone who is there to serve the team.
You should appear to be someone who wants to help. When a teammate approaches you, take the time to respond carefully and thoughtfully. Show your team that you care.
If a team member approaches you when you’re busy and unavailable at that moment, listen to their request, then let them know you are busy and will return to the conversation as soon as you can.
Over time, your team will see you as someone they can rely on. Even if you’re not able to help them right away, your team should be able to see you as someone that is willing and eager to help when the time allows.
It’s extremely difficult to communicate with a leader who is aggressive, irritable, or constantly frazzled.
Trying to communicate with someone that is this way isn’t pleasant and can negativity impact how your team looks at you.
As a leader, you’re the part of the team that is supposed to be prepared for anything, able to adapt, and be the most reliable and skilled member of the team.
When you’re communicating, even if the topic bothers you or irritates you, respond rationally and in a calm, yet respectable, demeanor. This helps to facilitate the idea that you’re approachable and doing what’s best for the team.
Finally, it’s important to show calmness outside of team conversations, too. Even if you’re not actively communicating with a team member, your team sees you.
They need to see that you are in control of the situation and can handle your emotions. It can be difficult for your team to remain calm if their leader is always on the verge of losing their composure.
Understand that truly possessing these traits will take time. It’s a learning process.
These three traits are something that your team has to consistently see in you before they’ll come to associate these traits with you as a person.
Strive to embody these traits from day one.
Make yourself appear approachable and remain calm as much as possible in front of your team. You’re human, and you might make mistakes, but you can rebound from those mistakes and still maintain a sense of consistency with your team.