Career Advice
November 24, 2021

How To Communicate Better As A Leader?

How To Communicate Better As A Leader?

Communication is important to achieve mutual understanding between two parties or more. In a company or an organization, a leader should be able to communicate well to the team as this will impact and affect the company's reputation and identity. But how do we actually do that? As a leader, how do you measure that you have achieved a good communication ‘standard’ with your team members.

Before we start sharing the good insights on:-

  • To attain the drive as a leader to communicate better
  • The action and steps to communicate better
  • Further considerations on options and environmental adaptations


shared by two of our mentors, Beatrice Chew, a Product/Service Strategist, and Taiss Quartapa, a Strategy & Consulting Senior Manager, let us share 8 signs of poor communication in an organization.

Top 8 Signs of Poor Communication in Company:

  1. Clueless on the company direction; mission and vision.
    It is difficult to boost the motivation and focus of the team when the direction of the company is unclear. The team could not estimate the amount of input they needed to put in to reach their target. 🤷⁉️

  2. No interest in any activities by the company.
    The lack of interaction from a leader will cause team members to move further away from the leader. They will find excuses to skip meetings or feel forced to participate 😑 when they have to attend the activities.
  1. Work hard but not smart.
    The absence of guidance on how to execute tasks efficiently tends to lead to a quick burnout. If team members use the same amount of energy and focus on every task, they will be mentally and physically exhausted.
  1. Inconsistency in workflow
    The inconsistency in the workflow will lead to conflict between team members and poor tasks end results. Issues such as disagreements in opinions, relying on assumptions rather than confirmations, and tasks overdue are  examples when you do not present the workflow clearly to the team.

  2. A one-way communication
    Notice that your team members tend to avoid exchanging ideas in any projects and agreeing with everything you say? There could be possibilities that you do not welcome their views or consider listening to their opinions.

  3. Lack of human interaction with the team
    When was the last time you interacted with your team? This excludes emails, texts, or the comments you highlighted in digital workspaces. How often do you check your team members' well-being? The lack of human interaction is making it difficult to build strong relationships with your team and decreases the sense of belonging with the company.

  4. High turnover
    One of the main reasons people leave a company is due to poor communication. The sense of communication detachment towards the company, the lack of empathy from the leader, and the absence of cooperation from the team bring negative impacts to the team and the organization.

  5. Zero team spirit
    Peek through a corner of the office corridor 👀 or study your zoom meeting ambiance. Are the team members talking to each other, or are they just minding their own business? Do they or you as a leader give the support they need when they are struggling? Did you check with your team whether the support given was enough?

    Leaders are role models, and if you create a poor communication working culture, they will follow, adapt (and suffer) to survive in the company.

    That’s torturing indeed. 🤕



The great news is, it is not too late to improve your communication as a leader!  Below are the tips from our mentors, Beatrice and Taiss:-


Why is it important for a leader to communicate better?

“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.” — Gilbert Amelio
  • For leaders to be effective, communication is not just part of the job—it is the job.
  • Good communication is a core leadership function and a key characteristic of a good leader.
  • Effective communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined. It is absolutely essential for leaders and their teams to possess effective communication skills in order to overcome challenges, reach their goals, and enable their organizations to grow and succeed.
  • Poor communication skills can divide, disrupt, and confuse your employees.
  • A Leader's difference; Team resilience and identity (individual long/short term orientation -psychology)

How to communicate better as a leader:

  • Listen and encourage input: Good communicators are also good listeners.

    When you listen well, you gain a clear understanding of another’s perspective and knowledge. Listening fosters trust, respect, and openness. Ask powerful questions that open the door to what people really think and feel. And pay close, respectful attention to what is said — and what’s left unsaid.

  • Authenticity: Be honest and sincere.

    Find your own voice; quit using either industry-specific jargon, corporate-speak, or sounding like someone you’re not. Let who you are, where you come from, and what you value come through in your communication. People want, respect, and will follow authentic leadership. So forget about eloquence — worry about being real. Don’t disguise who you are. People will never willingly follow someone they feel is inauthentic.

  • Visibility: If you want to communicate well, don’t be out of sight.

    Don’t be known only by your emails and official missives. Be present, visible, and available. Getting “out there” — consistently and predictably — lets others know what kind of leader you are. People need to see and feel who you are to feel connected to the work you want them to do. Find ways to interact with all of your stakeholder groups, even (and especially!) if communicating in a crisis.

  • Illustrate through stories: When you tell a good story, you give life to a vision, goal, or objective.

    Telling good stories creates trust, captures hearts and minds, and serves as a reminder of the vision. Plus, people find it easier to repeat a story or refer to an image or quote than to talk about a mission statement, strategy document, or project plan. This is key when communicating any vision.

  • Clarity & Transparency: Being clear, and transparent goes hand in hand with clearly defining the problem at hand.

    The clearer you make the problem, the more confident the employee will be in solving it. As leaders, we could always spend more time defining problems, helping to identify blockers, and making the collaboration process with other teams run more smoothly.

Considerations

"Don't confuse experience with expertise. Having faced a problem doesn't guarantee that you've mastered the solution. Don't mistake expertise for wisdom. Having deep knowledge doesn't guarantee that you know when it applies." — Adam Grant, Organisational psychologist
  • Make conversations a learning opportunity.

    Whether you have data or not, speak strategically to make your ideas connect to the “cracks” you’ve identified.

  • Be clear and concise: Improve your verbal skills and presentation skills.

    Good communication means saying just the right amount, not too little or too much. Convey the message in as few words as possible. Effective speaking means saying what you want clearly and directly, whether you are communicating with someone directly or via email.
  • Choose the right method to communicate.

    Is this message better suited to a chat? email? in person? How you deliver a message is as important as what you communicate.

  • Remote working and presentations.

    As remote workers, giving presentations without seeing nonverbal cues can be difficult; being unable to see the reactions of your audience makes it hard to decipher what people are really thinking. This works both ways! To engage with your audience productively, it is important to speak slowly and clearly. At the same time, don’t completely erase the personality from your voice. If you are excited about a project or feature, sound enthusiastic. By setting an example, you are helping your audiences learn how to interact with you online.

  • The right method of communicating

    As leaders, we must get better at deciphering if a team member is expressing themselves to seek support or validation. There is nothing more frustrating as an individual to be receiving ideas for solutions when what was being sought was emotional support (and vice versa). This is exacerbated in remote working where our interactions are task-based and less focused on building and maintaining interpersonal relations.