Being an effective leader isn’t only about being a strong role model. A great leader is able to create a positive environment that enables open communication amongst colleagues and their managers. This article from Forbes highlights a Salesforce.com study that “86% of executives blame workplace failures on a lack of collaboration and poor communication.” Encouraging a progressive working relationship benefits both the individual and the company, and can make a big difference in the company’s morale.
Maintaining a balance between your own work and being a leader can be challenging, but keeping these 8 attributes in mind will reinforce strong and empowering communication in your environment.
Invite feedback and input – Ask for ideas and integrate them into your plan, even if it’s not exactly the way you wanted to do it.
Keep team members informed – If people aren’t informed, they lose focus. Keep the communication clear and concise.
Practice planned specific communication – Think through your messaging and make sure it aligns with your overall goals.
Act spontaneously with no hidden motives – Move swiftly and be ready for change. Always do the right thing that supports your organization’s values.
Remain free and open in personal communication – Be yourself and be truthful.
Use team-based problem-solving and decision-making – While it takes a little more time, engaging others in solving problems and finalizing decisions engages employees and can even lead to a more positive outcome.
Have open doors and an open mind – You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Keep your door and mind open for new ideas.
Listen skillfully – Practice ‘W.A.I.T’ - “Why Am I talking.” Listen, take notes, think through the issues.
Collaboration is one of the most beneficial and important aspects of a smooth running department/team. With team leaders who promote open communication and team members who lean into a trusted environment, the workplace will be more productive and positive. Allowing others to speak up, and actually taking the time to take their thoughts and ideas into consideration will create stronger relationships between team leaders and team members, and even amongst the members themselves.