Being able to communicate clearly with your team (and others) is essential to high-quality leadership. And Communication is one of the five skills that make every leader better (Compassion, Curiosity, Communication, Vision, and Resilience).

When your team is clear about your expectations, and you understand how people like to give and receive information, great things can happen. Two of the most common ways communication skills come into play in the workplace are in meetings and with email.

When your team is clear about your expectations, and you understand how people like to give and receive information, great things can happen. Click To Tweet

Meeting Communication

Much of your communications persona comes from how you conduct yourself in meetings. If you have a reputation for productive meetings, people will look forward to them. Or at least more than they will other meetings.

Be on time. Honor other peoples’ time — if you’ve accomplished what you need to, finish early; and if you don’t have anything important to cover, for heaven’s sake, cancel the damned meeting.

Say less. Believe it or not, one of the most powerful communications skills is not saying stuff. Create the space for others to shine. Remember, participating in meetings is part of your team members’ development.

As a leader, there’s an expectation that you know stuff; in meetings, it’s important that others can demonstrate that they know stuff, too. And chances are, they’ll know some different stuff than you do. This is a great place for Curiosity, too!

Be mindful of others’ styles. Some folks love brainstorming and coming up with ideas on the fly. For others, that’s torture — they like to have time to think about an idea before speaking about it to their peers. Send out a meeting agenda ahead of time, to help your more introverted employees prepare and feel confident participating in the meeting.

Email Communication

How you communicate in email is important, too. Answer emails promptly. Be brief and professional (spell check exists for a reason!). And if you don’t feel confident with written communications — and a lot of people don’t — take a class or read up. A simple internet search can put you in touch with a ton of great resources.

People learn from your practices. If you’re sending notes out in the middle of the night, they may believe (wrongly or rightly) that you expect an answer immediately. This creates lots of tension, and is easy to avoid. Every major email program has a feature that allows you to determine the send time — even if you’re up at an odd time, you can set your email to send during normal business hours.

Taking extra care with your meetings and email will ramp up your communication skills, which can accelerate your leadership results.

Have you seen a great meeting practice this week? Tell us about it below!

 

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