How you communicate, verbally and non-verbally may be the most important leadership skill in your arsenal. As Maya Angelou once said “it isn’t what you say or do as much as how you make them feel” and communication style is a critical part of interaction with others.
“No matter what your job is, success will be determined: 5% by your academic credentials; 15% by your professional experiences; 15% by your natural ability; and 65% by your communication skills,” argues author Chuck Garcia in “A CLIMB TO THE TOP: Communication & Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights.”
What is your communication style? New Line Ideas has a quick 20 question quiz that will help you understand your style. Take a moment to answer the questions for a clearer understanding. Often it is through self study and self awareness that we start understand how and why people interact with us the way they do.
In the Forbes article, 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders we learn:
It is the ability to develop a keen external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who muddle through their interactions with others.
The author stresses the importance of listening, empathy and honesty. A key leadership skill is to be able to read between the lines of what is being said – as well as what is being communicated without words:
Keep your eyes & ears open and your mouth shut and you’ll be amazed at how your level or organizational awareness is raised.
Communication styles are also important when it comes to leading those within your company who do not report to you.
There may come a time when you are asked to lead a project that will require team effort from people across disciplines within your organization. How do you lead those that aren’t required to follow?
In the article 3 Strategies to Lead When you Can’t Mandate lists communication as a leadership skill for success:
Communicate effectively: Communication is the key to effective work. It’s important to let everyone know what they need to do to achieve the end goal. As you interact with people and express your conviction in what you’re doing, they will get onboard.
It is truly a great leader who can inspire teams to follow their lead when they aren’t told to do so. If you are in the middle of your company, this is a leadership skill that will come to serve you well as you advance within the company.
At the end of the day, a great leader is one who inspires:
Someone who communicates clearly, concisely, and often, and by doing so motivates everyone to give his or her best all the time. They challenge their people by setting high but attainable standards and expectations, and then giving them the support, tools, training, and latitude to pursue those goals and become the best employees they can possibly be.
How well do you communicate with your peers, superiors and subordinates?