Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of organizational communications. In our last segment, we’ll focus on Leadership Communications, and sending the right messages to your organization to promote trust, increase engagement and alignment, and improve performance.
One of the key attributes of high performing and successful organizations is the effectiveness of their internal communications. These leaders share as much information as possible with their teams so that everyone understands the vision, values, direction, performance expectations and standards, and culture.
Effective leadership communications are:
- Regular and Timely
- Open and Transparent
- Courage – Talking straight about what your team wants to hear
- Innovation – Encouraging creativity and innovative thinking
- Discipline – Accountability to tell the good and bad news
I’ll add one last requirement to the list – Active Engagement. A truly effective communication process must be a two way street. Although you are providing information, you must actively listen to insure that the information and message are clear and understood, and openly solicit team opinions and input to really improve the organization and performance over time.
If any of these elements are missing, then your organization will make assumptions and use rumors to fill in the blanks on their own, increasing the risk of making poor decisions, and will not be engaged, committed, or aligned. Also, if you are not willing to share information, the assumption may be that you are hiding something and the culture will suffer. Finally, some leaders continue to take the position that sharing information will result in “losing control” of the organization if the team knows too much, or that the shared information will be leaked to the market and competition.
In my experience, leaders that choose to communicate regularly, openly, and actively with their organizations can expect the following results:
- Improved performance
- High level of engagement and commitment
- Continuous improvement
- Motivated team
- Improved decision making
- Good organizational culture
As the leader, you can decide now to open up your organizations communications, share information clearly and transparently, and get your team fully involved and committed. The result will be a high performing organization that is capable of accomplishing great things.
“Communication is the real work of leadership.” – Nitin Nohria
“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.” – Gilbert Amelio, former President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp
- The importance of communication in leadership – Part 1 (denisgmclaughlin.com)
- 7 Mistakes in Employee Management Communication (powerhomebiz.com)