A Leader’s Communication Skills: It’s Not What You Say – It’s How You Say It

Communication skills are one of the essential qualities needed to be successful. Not being able to communicate well will often lead to your ideas being ignored, and your input not being taken seriously.

When you can communicate well, you become a better team player. It is easier to bring your vision to life and also to maintain a positive work environment. Having this quality becomes even more crucial when you are a leader.

As a leader, you are going to be in situations that need you to communicate with your team members and colleagues – you will need to maintain some air of authority while also being receptive to their views. 

Being a leader means that your word needs to hold some weight. You need the people listening to you to pay attention to what you’re saying once you start talking. This only happens when you put your thoughts out with confidence. You can’t come across as unsure, because if that is the case, then your colleagues or teammates might not take you as seriously as you would want them to.

One of the mistakes that people – who are unable to put their thoughts across confidently – commit is that they use jargon. This is done in an attempt to back their thoughts with knowledge and credibility. But it doesn’t work that way. This again creates a communication gap, as the jargon has no place in a conversation except when you are talking to someone working with the same technology and/or area of expertise.

You’ll know if your words are falling on deaf ears by the look on people’s faces. Communicating is a lot about listening as well, not only to the words but also the body language of the people. Reading the people will help you change your strategy, even mid-conversation.

When not engaged with your words, people stare at you blankly, get engrossed in their cellphones, avoid eye contact or hold it for too long, fidget, and/or draw up a blank if something is asked.

Try to make people involved when you are speaking. Even if a person is below your designation level, you need to address them with respect. When you give respect is when you get respect. 

Being rude, dismissive, or ignorant of the opinions of people who work in a lower position can make them not be a good team player. Nobody wants to work with someone who disrespects them. They become resistant to anything you have to say, including something that might actually help them. Learn to be humble with your words, even when pointing out mistakes.

A condescending tone will never get you the results you desire. This is why it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

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