Do you have a hard time communicating with your team? Do they get mad at you for not being clear or providing feedback? It’s essential to be an effective communicator as a leader. In this blog post, we will go over five steps that can help improve your communication skills. You’ll learn how to ask questions more effectively and give better feedback. We also cover how to make sure that people understand what you are saying in the first place.
1) Don’t be vague
Don’t be too general when asking questions or giving feedback. For example, if you want your team to do something more quickly, simply saying “make it faster” will not get the job done. Be clear on what needs to be sped up and how much time they have to get it done.
In addition, if you provide feedback, make sure it is specific and detailed. If someone did an excellent job on something, don’t just say “good work” or give them a thumbs-up emoji in Slack. Instead, tell them specifically what they did well – for example: “I really like the way you broke down these numbers to show where the majority of our money is going.”
2) Ask open-ended questions
Don’t ask yes or no questions, instead try to get your team involved by asking them what they think of something. For example, you can say, “what are the biggest challenges that we need to solve for this new project?” You’ll learn more about their opinions and thoughts on where things could go wrong. This also allows you to engage with your team more personally. It helps build trust and a sense of camaraderie amongst the office by getting everyone involved – not just managers or supervisors.
3) Be specific
Don’t just give a thumbs up emoji or “great work” as feedback after someone does something for you. Tell them precisely what they did that was good – and tell them why it’s good! For example: “Thank you so much for sending me those numbers yesterday. I really appreciate how detailed the spreadsheet was! I know it’s easier just to give me a number, but I really need the spreadsheet so that I can go through it and see where our money is going.”
4) Use the Socratic method
Ask your team questions and encourage them to come up with ideas themselves, instead of just telling them what they should do. The Socratic Method is a technique used by Socrates in which he would ask his students leading questions that encouraged critical thinking and ultimately helped them discover their own answers. This will help you get everyone involved and engaged so that you don’t have to be the only one working on a project.
5) Don’t be a know-it-all
Don’t pretend to have all of the answers, or try and show off your expertise in front of others for no reason. Don’t feel like you always need to provide feedback because it shows that you’re not confident enough about what you’ve done – this will make other people lose confidence as well.
Instead, allow your team to come up with their own ideas. If they make a mistake or fail at something, help them through it instead of telling them what they did wrong before assisting them in fixing the problem. Allow yourself and others to be vulnerable in order for people to learn best practices that you’ve acquired over time – don’t just talk to them.
from Paul Arena | Professional Overview http://paularena.com/how-to-communicate-better-as-a-leader/