Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all leadership skills. It is what enables us to pass information to other people and to understand what is being said to us, the foundation of productivity and strong relationships.
Dale Carnegie state, in How to Win Friends and Influence People, that 90% of all management problems are caused by miscommunication. Here are some of the ways the best leaders avoid miscommunication:
1. They listen to understand.
People want to be heard. The best leaders take care to really listen to what the other person is saying instead of thinking about their own response.
2. They think before they speak.
The best leaders take a pause before they speak. Take a moment to think things through, paying close attention to what they say and how they say it.
3. They know their audience.
The best leaders understand that each listener is different – whether it’s an individual or a group – and make sure to consider their background, expectations and cultural norms before they speak.
4. They treat everyone equally.
Communication opens up when you treat everyone as equals.
5. They manage their tone.
The best leaders know how to manage their emotions in times of anger, sorrow, fear and joy. When expressing emotion, they do so appropriately, maintaining a tone of confidence and calmness.
6. They’re attentive.
The best leaders adopt the practice of listening more than they speak, and they’re attentive to the person who is in front of them. The more attuned you are to what others are saying, the more precise Yusuf can be in your response.
7. They maintain a positive attitude.
When you communicate with positivity, people will generally respond in the same way. Whatever you send out as a leader is usually returned to you, so own the power of contagious positivity.