How effective are your communication skills? In the fast-paced world we live in, communicating with others can be a challenge, especially in high-stress situations.
The way we interact with others has a direct impact on our confidence levels. Communication and confidence are tightly connected: when we’re able to express ourselves clearly and assertively, we feel more empowered. Leaders of today face increasing demands and pressures as technology and markets evolve at a rapid pace. To thrive in this environment, strategic communication is crucial.
Confident leaders understand the power of good communication and recognize it as a fundamental skill. Task completion and organizational achievement demand peak-level communication. A leader’s fundamental role is to be an excellent communicator and a proponent for a communication-based culture. In fact, organizations with strong communicators at the helm are more likely to succeed, even in the face of daunting challenges.
Unfortunately, I see too many organizations hampered by leaders who fail to grasp the power of good communication (or discount its importance). Some leaders consider information to be communication in and of itself, but it’s really just data. Communication is the ability to convey information strategically—the very core of leadership, affirms executive coach Dianna Booher in Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2017).
Confident leaders also recognize that communication is a “power” skill that allows them to work collaboratively and unite their teams. By combining strong communication abilities with traditional hard skills such as analysis and decision-making, leaders can achieve outstanding results. Conversely, a lack of communication causes multiple obstructions, debilitations and failures, as Booher notes:
In survey after survey, managers report that their team understands organizational goals and initiatives. Yet team members themselves say they do not. In a recent worldwide Gallup poll among 550 organizations and 2.2 million employees,only 50 percent of employees “strongly agreed” that they knew what was expected of them at work. Obviously, there’s a disconnect here.
Leaders must therefore master three essential skills to avoid these disconnects:
· Communicating deliberately
· Communicating interpersonally
· Communicating by adding value
We’ll dive into these three essential communication skills in our next posts. In the meantime, ask yourself: How strong are your communication skills? What steps can you take to become a more confident communicator? Don’t let communication be the missing piece of your leadership puzzle.
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