Leaders and Leadership: Communication Lessons #3

Leaders and Leadership: Communication Lessons #3

LISTEN, WRITE, AND ARTICULATE EFFECTIVELY: Leadership positions require effective communication skills. Basic confidence in the art of information sharing is absolutely necessary for effective leadership. Although mastering all of these skills is ideal, it is not always necessary.

Leaders and Leadership: Communication Lessons #3

Creative leaders can develop teams to support them in areas of weakness. One of the strengths of a leader is the capacity to recognize those communication areas in which he or she is weakest and then to supplement them. If for example, the area is listening, a leader might request a written summary for follow-up. If the area is writing, they could delegate the writing up of their ideas.

No effective leader, however, can delegate the ability to articulate. Verbal communication must be an effective part of a leader’s repertoire.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE: No personal style is better than another. You can only be as effective as you are comfortable doing what you are doing. One of the most difficult situations to overcome is inconsistency between thoughts and emotions. People need to respect their leaders and believe that they are in control of the situation. Attempting to “act managerial” if your style is more folksy and low-key will only lead to a misperception of your ability to handle a job.

WORK WITH NOT OVER: Use positive reinforcement-no matter what the initial quality may be — to create feelings of involvement. According to Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, there are three types of feedback for performance. “Seagull mangers” are managers who fly in quickly, make a lot of noise, and dump on everyone. As a result, productivity goes down. “Let alone zap managers” are managers who are seldom seen except when an employee does something wrong and then ZAP! they get it. Since the Zap manager never reinforces performance, productivity also goes down. Finally, “positive regard managers” provide positive feedback as often as they can, spending time looking for work that has been done well. This does not rule out criticism, as long as the manager recognizes that criticism may be presented in many ways. Constructive, supportive criticism achieves the maximum desired effect.

By John Benson

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