Interpersonal Communication: How Confident Leaders Build Trust, Engagement, and Commitment

We’ve been discussing how confident leaders understand the power of effective communication. In our previous post, we delved into the importance of mastering deliberate communication. Today, we shift our focus to communicating interpersonally.

You’ll learn how confident leaders communicate interpersonally to foster trust, engagement, and commitment among their employees.

Employees crave more than basic information; they want to feel valued enough to receive it. They respond optimally when they know their leaders appreciate their engagement, involvement and commitment. When leaders communicate interpersonally, workers feel cared for and connectedness increases.

Practice considerate communication by attempting to understand others’ perspectives. Confident leaders understand that communication is not merely a one-way street. It’s a two-way exchange that involves listening and responding with empathy. Use honoring and appreciative language, and avoid accusatory or resentful approaches. Strive for face-to-face communication that builds relationships. 

Nowadays, there is a necessity of indirect connections like the telephone, email or social media, but whenever possible, allow people to see how much you care with in-person dialogue or virtual in-person meetings.

Active listening is a vital communication skill. Many leaders focus only on what they want to say and deprioritize what others say to them. This damages communication and the trust leaders need to build with their people. Confident leaders show they want to understand what others have to say. They ask questions and repeat back what they’ve heard for confirmation. Embracing transparency by admitting they may not initially grasp something gains trust and makes greater relational progress.

Effective communication isn’t just about what you say; it involves ensuring your message is understood. Confident leaders go the extra mile to confirm that their audience comprehends the information they’ve shared. Instead of simply asking, “Did you understand?” They ask open-ended questions that foster discussion and feedback. This approach not only evaluates comprehension but also invites the team’s valuable thoughts and ideas.

Storytelling is a powerful tool that confident leaders use to connect with their team. Everyone loves to hear personal experiences, which they can use to illustrate concepts or offer analogies. The best way to personalize connections and enhance communications is to be thankful for people’s attention. As Dianna Booher puts it in Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2017), give people kudos whenever possible. Thank them out of habit, and show them how much you value communicating with them.

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