Did you know that communication is the key to a happy team?

I’m sure the importance of good communication skills isn’t lost on anyone, but still, it seems to be this one thing that most leaders find really difficult to get right.

As an executive coach, I often see derailing communication skills exhibited by senior leaders. And that is what brought me to writing this article. Let me share with you, 2 of the best practices displayed by every star leader to effectively connect with their team members and subsequently bring out the best results.

  1. Master your performance feedback

Do you feel a certain disconnect between you and your teammates? Do your employees feel safe talking to you, or do they fear being put down by you? These are the questions that you as an executive leader, need to ask yourself, periodically. This is how you take a feedback of your own performance.

And once you’re convinced you’re doing good on this front, you have the green light to go ahead and give the proper feedback to your teammates on their performance. Being a manager, it’s one of your key responsibilities to talk to your team about how they’ve been performing. Not just give them a vague idea, but tell them exactly where they did amazing, and where you think they could improve.

The best way isn’t holding back your thoughts till you meet for your weekly meeting; the better way would be appreciating someone just after they did something right, or taking them aside to tell them where they went wrong, just when they do something wrong. How about allocating time to personally connect with them before you dive into your next meeting?

And as far as the ‘how’ part is concerned, you do not have to raise your voice ever. Even if you have a tough case at hand, do remember – being assertive has nothing to do with raising your voice. So make your point amply clear, be very specific, and keep your tone even at all times. That’s how you achieve a win-win situation!

Giving feedback can be a tricky thing; two things of utmost importance here, your timing and tone.

  1. Master your storytelling art

We humans have grown on stories. Tiny tales, to short stories, to novellas, to novels – it’s been a journey that we never stopped taking. And that’s why weaving a story, where you could have simply said something, works on levels that are dug really deep in our psyche.

The art of communication, be it any kind – vocal, visual, written – the art of it stems from the tales we want to hear and tell. And so, as an executive leader – a star leader – the best way you can put your point across is by sharing your real-life stories.

But again, it’s not just you sharing your experience with them – it’s you trying to engage them in a narrative. You need to have their attention; you need to capture their imagination. So, you tell your story, while never losing your audience. Keep observing their reactions, and simultaneously keep making improvisations to your narrative, as needed.

The one thing though that you should never lose sight of is the point you want to get through. While involvement is good, but getting so involved that you forget why you chose to speak at all would just negate the whole purpose of the session. Remember, the art of communication is all about maintaining a fine balance between telling a story and getting your point across.

It’s not easy to realize this, but storytelling is a very useful tool, and that too in much more ways than most can fathom. This tool finds application when it comes to inspiring your team, or explaining your dreams and vision, or explaining why you want to do something, or why you’re urging to do things a specific way only. The best way to probably have people understand who you are and what you stand for is with the help of a story. Letting people connect with you, relate to your personal experiences, and draw a connection between your trials and tribulations to your present decisions is how you build a successful relationship with your team.

Summary: Leadership is an on going process. Two ways to increase the spirit and efficiency of your team is by focusing on enhancing your own executive presence(leadership communication skills)- the way you deliver feedback and they way you share your own stories.#BeTheStar

Comments: What is that one communication strategy or style you have seen your boss use to connect and get results from the team? Share your thoughts. I love learning from my readers. And please share this science of persuasion.