Leadership Communication Skills
In the previous article , we went through a general overview of the difference between social communication skills and interpersonal skills – and also explained how to develop them in a broader sense. Today, we’ll talk about the ambition of many and the privilege of a few: how can you master the Art of Communication and to be a leader (A word of caution, though: if you really want to be a leader, make sure you’ve read and understood these articles:)
- What Are Interpersonal Skills
- How to Develop Communication Skills
- Good Communication Skills
- How to develop effective communication skills
What Kind of Communication Skills do I need to Be a Leader
If you aren’t a socializing person and just need to communicate well, all you need is to understand what is general communication; if you want to improve on your career, however, you need to improve on your social and / or interpersonal communication skills. Being a leader? Well, that’s another story.
If you want to be a better leader, just improving on general, interpersonal and social communication skills is not enough: you must master them. After all, you’re the general, and your head is on the line here. But enough talk: as you know about all the other previous skills, let’s head to the 4 extra abilities a good leader must have.
Four communication skills a leader must have
- Prophylactic communication: let’s head through a mini-case study: The crises of Tylenol, 1982. After some pills got contaminated with cyanide, Tylenol sales dropped significantly, and the image of the company was in serious danger. What did Procter & Gamble, the company responsible for Tylenol do? They spoke to the media as soon as possible, and told everyone not to consume Tylenol. While this may sound suicidal, as following common sense, no company would tell consumers to not to buy their products, the company was seen by its consumers as transparent and actually caring about their health, and Tylenol quickly recovered from its bad reputation. Brilliant, isn’t it?
- Great internal communication management skills: as stated before in one of our previous articles, communication can’t ever be 100% perfect; this is why external conflicts – even big ones – may arise. Should they show up, talk to your employees and try to make them come to an agreement: you can save your company from lawsuits, negative media exposure and all kinds of stressing situations that would arise if you didn’t possess this skill.
- Openness to internal and external feedback: if you don’t know what your customers want – or worse, who they are – how are you going to sell them anything? The same applies to employees: if you don’t know what they are thinking of your company, how are you going to know how to improve productivity?
Solution: Gather all the external (customers) and internal (employees) feedback you can, and actuallylisten to it. You’ll be surprised by how many people will trust you – as a leader and as a person – after this.
- Sincerity – if you’re asked, say, about the future income of your company and are uncertain about it, don’t make up numbers. Don’t lie. Instead, acknowledge the situation and say the measures you are taking to counter this problem. Imagine this speech on a press release:
You: Well, even though the expected income of the next year doesn’t look bright, we’re (expanding our market, repositioning our brand, releasing new products, etc). With these actions, we are sure we’ll overcome this problem.
If you take the right actions and be confident, know you’ll be on the road to success – and perhaps you’ll even be able to handle complex problems like the one that happened with Tylenol.