Posted by Sandy Yu on 9.3.2019
Many of your employees are likely waiting to receive a promotion they’ve worked so hard to earn. They’ve proven they’re good at their jobs, are hitting goals, and collaborate with co-workers well.
However, as you know, being a leader goes far beyond being exceptional at your own tasks. It involves understanding how to communicate with employees of all types, with various ideas and personalities, opinions, and problematic situations. Until an employee learns how to effectively do all of this, it’s challenging to view them as a true leader.
Of course, you don’t want their potential to go to waste or for them to grow impatient and move on to a new company. That’s why it’s imperative that you teach those with promotion-potential the communication skills they need to be an effective leader.
Here are four leadership communication skills you need to teach your employees to help them be viewed as leaders:
Employees actively working toward a promotion often overthink. They’re focused on impressing you so they’ll be viewed as a worthy leader. Unfortunately, this also leaves their listening skills unpolished. Even as you’re talking, they may be thinking of their next move.
As a leader, you know one of the top leadership communication skills is stopping and truly listening when an employee is speaking to you. It’s only then that you make lasting and trustworthy connections. When nerves or ego interrupt, it’s challenging to respond in a genuinely meaningful manner.
Encourage employees to look at listening as a way to show respect. It’s how you learn the perspective of your employees and co-workers. During conversations, they should pay close attention and ask various questions to show they’re not only listening to what the person is saying but are also interested.
Your employees need to lose any stereotypes they have about being a leader. Effective leaders aren’t trying to impress their employees or anyone else. Really, their main goal is to relate to their team to help them reach top potential.
Train employees to lose the corporate talk and speak in their own authentic voices. Once they find their real selves through communication, help them value the act of being succinct. Their future team needs someone who can communicate authentically while also keeping communication short and clear.
Leaders who fear feedback are least likely to receive honest communications from employees. Without honest communication, there’s no room to effectively and efficiently help team members or the company grow.
Show employees the value of feedback -- good or bad. Perform an exercise with them that helps them see the direct impact of their own feedback. Ask them to divulge something about their role, the company, or your own leadership that they haven’t told you, positive or negative. Assure them there are no repercussions and that their honesty is welcomed.
Before they deliver their feedback, ask them to pay close attention to your posture, facial reactions, and demeanor as the conversation continues. This allows them to see how leaders should react in the moment to any form of praise or criticism.
More and more leaders are understanding the value of empathy. Your employees, however, may not recognize the actual act if they’re not aware of how you cultivate connections with your team.
Let your employees see how leadership communication skills gain more power through personal stories that provide empathy. Have them share a time when they’ve struggled in their current or any former roles. Follow up their account with a personal story of your own that connects your journey to theirs. While it may not be the exact occurrence, you can show them the deeply-rooted connections that can be made through storytelling.