A wise person once said, “Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively.” While no one is certain who said these words first, they’ve been repeated often because they hold such truth. Discover why communication is so crucial to a leader’s success in the business world.
Communication Helps You Realize Your Vision
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Executive coach Tim Enochs emphasizes the importance of communication in an organization: “Any member of the team unable to articulate the vision is a weak link — and we all know that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s your role as the leader to ensure that no link in your chain is weak through failure to understand the vision.”
When you communicate well, you’re transmitting your ideas to others. Writing for The Houston Chronicle, Miranda Morley explains that business managers should be able to:
- Give clear and concise directions for completing tasks.
- Be able to articulate company policies and expectations.
- Communicate the consequences of not meeting those policies and expectations.
When you communicate with employees, your team will understand what you want them to do and how to do it.
Communication Keeps You Informed
The late insurance executive Loren B. Belker once explained, “Leaders who make it a practice to draw out the thoughts and ideas of their subordinates and who are receptive even to bad news will be properly informed.” He suggested that, as a manager, you should “communicate downward to subordinates with at least the same care and attention as you communicate upward to superiors.”
These quotes resonate for two reasons:
- These statements emphasize communication’s importance as an information-gathering tool. With so much emphasis on public speaking, it’s easy to forget listening is another key part of communication. When you communicate with your staff, you can get their perspectives on the organization, which can help you make your company better.
- This quote also reminds managers to communicate with employees at all levels of the business. Approaching communication this way will help you stay informed about the entire company and make changes to fix issues your employees and customers face.
Communication Can Be Improved
Managers can improve their communication skills in many ways. Communication is a key part of many Master of Science in Management courses, so you may consider studying for an advanced management degree online to learn proven strategies.
Writing for the Parenteral Drug Association, Dr. Joelle K. Jay, president of Pillar Consulting, says managers must ask the right questions to get the information they need. Closed questions can confirm information, but for more personal responses, managers should ask open questions. Personal questions can be alienating if they’re too probing, but these questions can help build a rapport with your employees.
You may also do well to heed the advice of U.S. business magnate T. Boone Pickens, who once said great things can come from informal “luncheon meetings which consist of a sandwich, a cup of soup, and a good idea or two.” If you’re nervous about your communication skills, a more casual approach could be very effective.
Good communication doesn’t always come naturally, but because it’s such a vital talent, business leaders should take time to improve their speaking and listening skills.
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