Taking your leadership communication style to the next level

Looking to improve y0ur leadership communication skills so you can get ahead in your career? Here are four informative tips to make sure your communication style can be taken to the next level:

If it works, don’t fix it
When people praise you for your communication style you must be doing something right. Is it your openness or your way to address issues in a straightforward manner? Do they like the fact that you always have an open ear for everyone on your team? Or maybe it’s your sense of humour that helps people put things into perspective when not everything is going according to plan? Whatever it is, try to preserve the essence of that skill. This leads to…

Re-invent your recipe for success in new forms and channels
Do people simply walk into your office when they have a problem? This is no longer helpful if your team is spread out geographically. Luckily there are ways to mimic this type of direct access even when people on your team sit in a different country. Maybe you want to reserve a fixed 30 minute window every other day for a live chat session or for people to simply call you with anything they’d like to discuss. If maintaining a direct line of communication is your strength, you may simply have to look for new tools to support you.

If you believe face-to-face communication has been your recipe for success so far, you may want to start getting those who report directly to you more involved. By acting as a mentor and empowering them to have those direct conversations with their teams, you can pass on your skills to the next layer, along with the messages you need to get across.

Put the emphasis on listening
Stepping up communication efforts often results in more words being spoken. You are certainly eager to establish an information flow early on so people feel they’re getting all the relevant information. Often though, and especially in times of change, people are primarily looking for someone who cares and listens. That’s why making sure people can ask questions, voice ideas and raise concerns is often the most important part of your communication, especially during your first few months in a new role. It doesn’t matter if you don’t always have an answer.

Fully own your new role
There comes a point when you have to accept the fact that your place in the organisation has changed. Instead of being responsible for a single product you may now be responsible for the financial performance of an entire business. You will start to see some things differently. The times when you could bond with your team over questioning certain strategic decisions are over, you are now making those decisions. Your communication skills will hopefully help you to explain your decisions and convince your team that you’re on the right track. It’s important that you fully own your new role and bring this across in your communication.When moving into a new leadership role, it’s worth taking a brief pause to reflect on your communication style and think about how you will translate your recipe for success for the next level to make sure your communication with the new team is off to a good start.

Thanks to Christoph Ruedt’s article for inspiration.