Developing good communication skills is a must in order to be successful in your business efforts. How do you know if you are a good communicator? Most people think that if you are a people person, you automatically know how to communicate well with others. This isn’t the case especially in today’s business arena where memos, e-mails, text messaging are typically the methods used to get messages out quickly to others. These forms of communication leave a lot to be desired especially when passing along important information that your employees need to know.
Getting back to leadership basics is what it takes to build good communication skills. The first step to take to getting back to the basics and communicate more effectively is to take the time to really listen to what others are saying. This will save time and errors in the long run. Active listening, which means replaying what was heard from the speaker, helps in checking for clarity and is necessary to be sure that what was said is what was heard. Ensuring clarity of your message prevents misunderstandings.
Secondly, written communication differs from spoken communication. Do you think about what points you want to get across and the best method of communicating this prior to doing so? Generally speaking, the more complex the message, the more necessary it will be to have a face-to-face meeting. Complex messages can be misinterpreted due to the lack of context and lack of non-verbal communication that accompanies the message. Emotions can play a large role in how a complex message is received, and too often, the emotional content of a written message is misread.
Leadership means that you are responsible for seeing that jobs are completed and employees are following your initiatives. Miscommunication is costly and time consuming – and does not translate to good business practices. Evaluating not only how you communicate but how well you are communicating can help you determine if you are communicating effectively as a leader.