Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Authentic communication is a skill that we are not taught growing up, in college or in our current jobs. This missing skill set causes you to have problems connecting with and inspiring your team to follow. It can be frustrating to know you have spent a lifetime talking but have not mastered communication skills that leaders use. To figure you that just talking is not inspiring your team to follow. Being able to communicate as a leader should be something that you learn as you are growing up and for sure by the time you have your first job. But the problem is not many parents, professors or managers have this skill. And to top it off communicating effectively as a leader not easy to master.
I know the frustration of feeling like I was not being an effective leader. But not being able to figure out what I was doing wrong. In fact, I was not even aware that my communication skills were lacking, until a mentor pointed it out. That stung.
You can learn “about” communication skills from reading a book. However, this skill is a tacit skill which means it is the knowledge that is difficult to learn by reading or even talking about it. This is a skill that you must become aware of, reading and talking do help, but ultimately you must observe, internalize and practice. Here are some steps you can take.
1. Become aware of your communication as a leader. Are you inspiring, truly connecting and leading your team or are you just talking?
2. Find a communication/personality assessment to start to build your awareness muscle.
3. Watch and copy leaders who are genuinely effective communicators.
They inspire their team
They truly connect with their team
They can listen and hear both what is being said and what is not being said.
4. Then practice, practice, practice!
If you do these steps, you will start to become a better leader. Your team will notice you are connecting and communicating better.
Becoming aware of your communication style and the communication styles of others can be a great place to start building your awareness muscle. Make it a point to be around leaders who are great communicators, so you can watch, listen and learn the skills they are using. This only works if you are aware, paying attention and actively practicing.
Want to learn more about communication skills? I have a short video on my youtube channel about how personality effects leadership. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8K4PIoHUGk
Becoming an effective communicator as a leader takes time. But the effort and time pay off in the long run. You will become a leader who truly inspires your team. People will look to you for advice on how they can become an effective leader.
Yes, you can continue to be the boss instead of growing stronger as a leader. Being the boss does not take as much skill or time to master you just talk not worrying about connecting and leading. Not becoming genuinely effective in your communication will hold you back from having a more significant impact on your team, business or community.
I encourage you to start working on your communication skills today. Your future self will thank you!