There's nothing that businesses value more than good leaders. They are the cornerstones of a successful company and they help get the work done, both directly and indirectly. However, good leaders don’t just appear out of nowhere. Leadership is a skill that needs to be honed and worked on daily. Proper communication and leadership go hand in hand. You need to be able to communicate to become a good leader. Here are some tips to help you improve your leadership and communication skills.
- Work on your public speaking
Talking to one person is easy enough to practise. You just talk to a person of your choice and see where that goes. Public speaking is the real challenge. Conveying information to dozens of people can be pretty difficult, but it’s something leaders need to learn. It’s also a great tool to practise your communication skills.
It's no wonder that some people have a phobia of public speaking. Think about the skills that are necessary to speak to large numbers effectively. You need to analyze your crowd and figure out what information you need to convey. At the same time, you need to pick and choose language that you know everyone present can understand.
No matter how little or how much they know about the topic, you need to add something to the conversation. Not to mention, it works on the confidence aspect of your speaking, making it a lot easier to speak to one person afterwards.
2. Don’t be a fixer
Fixing problems is not what leadership is about. Entrepreneurs and managers often miss this when communicating problems with their team. It’s your job to assemble a team of skilled individuals and guide them through those problems. Solving it on your own isn’t going to help them learn. Plus, you might not know how to solve the problem in future situations, and your team will still depend on you. Never eliminate the challenge on your own, especially if it’s a good learning opportunity for employees.
The saying about teaching a man to fish comes to mind. You need to give your team the tools and drive to solve a problem. They already have the knowledge; they just need the right leadership to deal with it. Step back and have a hands-off approach to the issue. You should be able to trust your team to come up with a solution. After all, that’s why they’re here.
3. Be constructive in criticism
Criticizing gets a bad rap because very few people know how to do it right. Criticism should not be given out lightly and in any superficial way, especially when you’re giving it to those you work with. Your goal is to get these people to stop making mistakes, not to make them feel bad.
You need to look at criticizing as a skill. You can hone and practise it to achieve certain goals. You need to be constructive in your critiques. Explain why something is wrong before berating someone. In fact, you would be better off not saying anything that has to do with the person involved. You're criticizing their work, not the person.
Point out the flaws in the work and explain what went wrong. This will allow the person to learn from their mistakes, giving you several benefits. First, they’ll be able to correct their mistake and do things right. Second, by using your criticism, they’ll know how to avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Form your criticisms around achieving these things.
4. Give practical training
A good leader will always want his or her team to stay ahead of the curb. This means teaching them everything there is to know about the business and more. Contrary to how you deal with problem-solving on the job, training needs to be a very hands-on sort of affair. You need to make sure your team members are prepared for any kind of situation that they might encounter on the job. It's doable, but it's easier said than done.
Good team leaders sometimes recreate stressful situations to help train their employees. This is also called “roleplaying” training. It’s considered one of the more effective hr program solutions for training employees. Putting people in the right type of role playing scenario will help prepare them for the real thing. Think of it as actors getting ready for a theatre performance. It’s a lot easier to remember what to do when you have a similar experience to fall back on.
5. Learn from others
A good leader never stops learning. It’s a role that requires constant vigilance and an open mind. You need to accept that you’re flawed and need a lot more to learn. A leader that accepts this will know how to proceed when things get tough.
The best place to learn would be to watch other leaders. Make sure you observe others in similar leadership positions when you visit conventions and conferences. They can give you invaluable information both directly and indirectly. The best way to avoid making mistakes is to look at the mistakes of others.
You can always learn from your employees as well. They have a certain set of skills that make them invaluable to the business. However, you might not be as proficient in these skills. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn by observing. This will make it a lot easier to critique work and understand what employees do right and wrong. This way, you’ll get invaluable knowledge that will help you improve your team and help them on projects when necessary.
Being a leader is more than just a title. It’s also a mindset. You need to be the exact right person to be able to do the job. Luckily, there are ways to become better at leadership and communication. Pay attention to your team and make sure that you’re showing them that you care. Consider some of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great leader for your team.