Good communication and leadership go hand in hand. Leaders with strong communication skills understand others better and gain trust and respect from their colleagues. Creativity and problem-solving flourish under a leader who possesses effective communication skills.
On the other hand, the inability to communicate clearly can lead to false assumptions about expectations and to organizational chaos . Poor communication skills can stymie your career climb as well.
Written and verbal communication hiccups can work against an employee vying for a leadership role. Here are just a few examples:
- A lack of clarity. Employees like to feel that their work has meaning. A leader who lacks clarity can leave others feeling directionless, frustrated, and unmotivated. Leaders must clearly communicate organizational goals so employees are never left guessing.
- An unwillingness to talk or listen. If you keep to yourself as a leader, you never have the chance to build trust or respect among employees. If no one feels comfortable coming to you with problems, they become frustrated, unhappy, and tempted to seek employment elsewhere. Lines of communication must always be open and inviting so employees know they’re free to speak to their leaders.
- Boastful behavior. A leader who uses his position to show off isn't an effective communicator. Such behavior fosters resentment. Remaining humble and interested in employees’ knowledge keeps the business moving forward.
- Condescending speech. Belittling, threatening, and micro-managing employees are the fastest way to destroy your leadership potential. Good leaders bolster their employees and lead by example, not intimidation.
- Taking undue credit: Far too many leaders take credit for everything positive and point the finger when things go wrong. Good leadership involves giving credit when and where it’s due and accepting blame when appropriate.
- Sharing information too late: Employees quickly become frustrated when told about deadlines at the last minute. "By the way, I want that on my desk by the end of the day," gets old fast. Effective leaders provide timely information to help employees fulfill their responsibilities effectively.
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