How Effective Listening Can Make You a Better Leader and Communicator

by
Entrepreneurship
January 19 |

The ability to communicate efficiently with team members defines your ability as a leader. Whether you are managing a small group of co-workers or are in charge of a larger team, communication skills are important if you want to be a great leader and improve your professional relationships with your colleagues. A great leader must be able to relay their thoughts and inspire other people. The success and growth of your business and career hinges on successful communication.

In this article we will learn important communication skills that will help you become a better leader and improve your relationships with others.

Pay Attention

A leader who pays attention and is a good listener is able to build trustworthy relationships and promote loyalty and honesty. It’s hard to determine what’s going on in your employee’s mind when you can’t look them in the eye, and are not paying attention to what they have to say. They could be having trouble completing a task and if you take the time to understand the problems and tackle the issue, you could help them get the job done. Not only that, they will respect you and look up to you. Any time you’re talking to someone, be aware of both your own and the other person’s body language. You don’t want to cross your arms whilst talking or show unfriendly facial expressions, because it indicates that you’re not interested and are not paying much attention. As a leader you want to show that you are listening.

Be Respectful and Positive

When someone is talking to you, be respectful. Stop looking at your computer or put away your gadgets. Give eye contact as it indicates that you’re paying attention and listening to what the other person is saying. Smile more and show kindness. Being respectful should go without saying and all leaders should know that this is an important part of effective communication. When talking to your employees, portray honesty and positivity and discard any ego or ‘I’m better than you’ attitude. Doing this will create transparency, respect and fair communication within your team. Be a motivator instead of a dictator who is able to perpetuate morale and encourage creativity and constructive problem solving.

Know Your Audience

Great communication comes from understanding the person you are talking to. Understanding your audience’s goal, communication style and ability to learn will allow you to convey your message and increase the chances of effective communication. Creating a personal, honest and genuine connection with your audience will put them at ease and will help build trust. Being friendly, clear and thinking before you speak are some of the verbal communication tips every leader should know in order to build rapport and successfully convey what they want to say to their target audiences.

Be an Active Listener

Keep an open mind for constructive criticism and ideas and ask for feedback when you’re talking. Effective listening builds better relationships and careers. Listen without judging or criticizing. If someone says something that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t say things like ‘That was a stupid idea,’ because as soon you yield to judgemental amusement, you’ve negatively affected your listening skills.

Listen without jumping to conclusions. To understand what the other party is trying to say, you need to listen. The greatest secret of prosperous communication is listening, because in order to lead you have to listen.

Show Empathy

Empathy is the ability to see the world from other people’s points of view. Leaders with empathy understand what a co-worker or an employee is feeling in any given moment. Empathy helps employees communicate their ideas in a way that makes sense to other people and it helps them understand you when you’re communicating with them. Working in a stressful environment can lead to many other workplace issues like absence, decreased productivity and inadequate performance. Empathy and compassion towards co-workers and employees will result in deep respect, build trust and create a positive working environment.

Conclusion

To be a great leader, practicing healthy communication skills is important. You can’t learn them in a short time span. You need to commit and apply these techniques in your daily life. The more you execute the skills, the more your leadership prowess will grow.

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