A few months ago I came across the following quote from author and blogger Seth Godin:
“Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. Leaders, on the other hand, know where they'd like to go, but understand that they can't get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen...Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.”
I believe part of leading well is knowing how to communicate effectively to your tribe. You realize you could probably accomplish the goal more quickly on your own but that you’d arrive to the finish line in just that way: alone. It’s better to take your whole team with you as that will increase morale, their sense of personal buy-in, and loyalty to not just the project but also the other members of the team.
As part of some professional training recently, I developed a list of effective communication behaviors that I am endeavoring to employ both personally and professionally.
Effective communication is best when:
- It is truthful. You mean what you say and say what you mean.
- It is clear. Repeating back to another person what you heard said often ensures clarity.
- It is factual. You stay in the realm of reality.
- It is first-hand and verified. You never base anything on assumptions.
- It is delivered in a way that is personalized yet not taken personally. You are sensitive to the needs and insecurities of your team.
- It includes the rationale behind the message. You don’t give orders blindly but thoughtfully bring everyone on board.
- Ancillary details are dropped in favor of the most critical information. You are concise and don’t waste others’ time.
- It is communicated in different ways. You understand not everyone hears information in the same way.
How are you leading? How are you communicating? Effective leadership and communication go hand-in-hand. You know you are leading well when people are willingly following.