We should know by now that good communication is an absolutely vital skill in the leader’s playbook. A leader knows how to do more than just dictate; they have mastered the art of engaging their employees. A HUGE part of that is learning how to effectively communicate with the people around them.
Before we get into what makes for great communication techniques, let’s delve into what can tear it all apart.
Think about all the things that make us insecure. Usually, it stems from fear, pride, and ego, right? I know that’s true for us. All these things can be detrimental to the art of communication. When you let ego and pride get in the way, you are only damaging yourself. Try not to let your own need to be right or to prove a point hinder you from asking for help or clarification. It can make or break your work. Good communication comes from putting aside our fears and working with a team to better the whole. Letting the individual insecurities fall aside will ultimately save you and your people.
After reading a powerful Inc.com article by Nicolas Cole on this subject, we wanted to share with you readers some successful tips on communicating as effectively as possible.
- “Don’t Assume… Ever” We’re pretty sure that everyone learned that assuming is never a good idea– at least we hope so. When you assume you understand someone’s side of things (in any type of situation, personal or professional), something will get lost in translation. Always. Avoid this by simply asking questions, clarifying when needed, and staying open to other’s voices. Even the best people need to be reminded of things or checked in on every once in awhile. Do yourself– and your team– a favor and just stay away from assuming anything.
- “Get Ahead Of It” The point of communication is to get yourself ahead of the game, so why would you wait till the last minute (or even past the deadline) to try and communicate? Be proactive! If you think something could possibly go wrong, take the appropriate measures to make sure you have a backup plan (and a backup backup plan). This means communicating with the people who rely on you and vice versa. Communicating when there is still time is the best thing you can do for your project. Make sure there is time to respond to the task at hand
- “Don’t Hide It. Own Up To It.” Okay, okay, we know how difficult this can be. No one likes admitting when they fuck up make a mistake. Most of the time, when we are running behind, we don’t like to own up to it; we would much rather just try and figure it out on our own– most likely resulting in lateness The best thing to do is to COMMUNICATE that. In the long run, the rest of you team will appreciate your candor. They might even be able to help! There is no point in trying to hide it when things don’t go quite they way they were supposed to. That’s what teams are for– to help each other reach the goals of the company and produce quality work.
- “Practice” Practice makes perfect. Yes, that is the most cliché sentence on the planet. No, we don’t care. Get this through your head. Just say it over and over and over again. Practice makes perfect. At the end of the day, most of us know all this stuff already. The challenge is to actually go through with it. Remember these tips in the moment and practice the art of effective communication. It will help, we promise.