Ever been in that situation when you just can’t seem to get your message across? Maybe you’re struggling to express yourself, or you can’t find the right words or maybe the party you’re trying to communicate with just doesn’t seem to understand what you’re trying to say? Perhaps they’re not hearing or seeing your message at all or maybe your message just isn’t clear to them? Maybe other things are happening in the environment around you and/or the person you’re trying to communicate with, which is stopping your message from getting across? According to a Harvard Business Review study, 69% of managers report that they are not comfortable communicating with their employees in general. Let’s explore communication, with a focus on Leadership Communication in the workplace.
What is Communication?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, communication is “the process by which messages or information is sent from one place or person to another, or the message itself”.
Communication is a 2-way thing and it isn’t the same as information, which only goes 1 way. Pumble discuss the Interactive Communication Model, which takes into account environmental factors, culture, past experiences and personal history for both the message sender AND the receiver. You must have been in the situation where you understand something differently to somebody else? For example, you can’t understand why they’re not frustrated or upset by something that really affects you! Or you can’t understand what all the fuss is about when somebody is a lot more affected by a piece of information than you are. We all see, hear and understand things in different ways according to our own life experiences and make-up. The below model shows the interactive nature of communication and the importance of feedback from receiver to sender. How do you know that your message was received at all if you get no feedback?
Benefits of communication in the workplace
Communication is hugely important in the workplace. As an employee you need to know what the overarching organisational goals are and then you can also understand how your personal objectives fit in to that. Leaders need to clearly communicate corporate goals and business plans to employees at all levels of the organisation and they should use appropriate medium to transmit messages to ensure that the information is delivered to the right people in the right way.
Hands up if you like to be told you’re doing a good job? Do you value feedback if you’re not doing something right and somebody offers guidance and a helping hand to get you back on track? Good and effective Leadership Communication can be very rewarding and motivational and can really promote colleague engagement and commitment. Leaders should also clearly communicate timelines and priorities for projects to keep business plans on target. Do not change your message and give confusing or conflicting information! How frustrating is it when somebody changes their message and communication to you, confusing you about what they even want and expect from you?!
The key benefits of strong and effective communication in the workplace include increased productivity better decisions and efficiency.
What is Leadership Communication?
Ivan Andreev from Valamis explains that Leadership Communication is “a type of communication most commonly used by leaders to relay information about the company’s culture, core values, mission, and crucial messages to build trust and encourage employees”.
He says that “to achieve increased productivity, better decisions and efficiency……then leaders need to inspire, persuade, build relationships, share ideas, transmit company values and make things happen in their organisations”.
Do your employees feel involved and engaged and do they understand their role in the company? Do colleagues work in an open and trusting environment where they feel comfortable to ask questions and for guidance? Or do they feel threatened and embarrassed and so struggle alone? Strong, clear and effective communication in the workplace will without doubt foster and promote a positive working culture, and increase morale and colleague engagement and motivation and all of these will naturally lead to increased business (and personal!) outcomes.
So how do we demonstrate positive and effective Leadership Communication?
- Honesty is the best policy! Build trust and rapport with your colleagues.
- Follow through with your promises! Build trust with your staff.
- Communicate with a plan! Avoid poor communication and don’t miss out on important things.
- Walk the walk! Don’t just get people to listen to you – you need to listen to them.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes! Show empathy – remember they have their own ‘field of reference’ (experiences which affect how they ‘hear’ things).
- Make your communication memorable! Use slogans and break down complexities.
- Welcome feedback and learn by mistakes! Encourage openness.
- Engage with colleagues personally! Speak to groups of people as if you’re speaking with them individually.
- Be consistent with your communication! No confusing messages.
- No favouritism! Communicate equally with all employees
If you want to have a further discussion and learn more about your leadership style, contact us using the form below.
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