5 proven ways to improve your communication skills
How leaders can use effective communication to get the best from their team
As a business owner or manager, clear communication is the key to success.
Great communication skills are essential for any business leader. When you spend time improving how you communicate, you’ll build strong relationships with your team, connect better with your customers and be better prepared to tackle any conflicts or issues.
Let’s explore 5 proven ways you can improve your communication skills today.
When you learn to listen well, you’ll show your team that you’re engaged with their work and you’ll show your clients that you truly care about their needs.
Listening doesn’t mean just being quiet—it means paying attention and actively hearing what others are saying. Ask for clarification if there’s anything you don’t fully understand, and consider taking notes to help you digest the information.
Learning to read the body language of others is one of the most important communication skills to master. During meetings and presentations, take a look around the room and see how your colleagues and clients are reacting to what you’re saying. If they’re engaged and actively listening, great job! If they look bored or confused, think how you can explain yourself in a different way.
Your own body language is equally as important. As a leader in your business, people look to you for guidance. Dress appropriately for your role, maintain good eye contact and always aim to be assertive—but never aggressive—with your posture.
Collaborate, don’t dictate
You’ll build a strong team and improve employee engagement when you create an environment of collaboration. You can greatly improve your communication skills by welcoming open dialogue and learning how you can help your staff do their job better.
The simplest way to do this is by asking questions. Great examples include:
- How are things going?
- What’s preventing this project from moving forward?
- Is there anything I can do to make things easier for you?
By asking questions and understanding where the roadblocks lie, you’ll show your team you’re listening—and that you’re committed to helping them succeed.
Be firm and fair
Unfortunately, there are times when you’ll have to put your foot down. It may be that you’re dealing with an employee who’s constantly late, or trying to handle a client who’s extremely difficult to work with.
Your business will ultimately suffer if you don’t nip things like this in the bud. As a leader, you must prove you’re not afraid to have an uncomfortable situation, and that you always have the best interests of your business at heart. If you don’t, you risk being taken advantage of.
Tackle tricky situations like these by planning what you’re going to say beforehand. Consider counter arguments, think of possible solutions, and (most importantly) remain calm throughout.
Combine communication methods
New advances in technology mean that there are now almost countless ways for businesses to keep connected.
When communicating with your team, choose the communication method that’s the best fit. It’s not always necessary to have a face-to-face meeting. Consider other options, such as conference calls or virtual meetings, to help everyone be more strategic with their time.
Our recommendation: however you choose to connect, make sure everyone’s on the same page after the meeting by sending an email summary that outlines the key points and next steps.
Looking for a business phone solution? Our Business Phone Service makes clear communication a breeze, with sophisticated call forwarding features and comprehensive conference call capabilities.
Switch to Voxtell and transform your business communication today—contact us to get started now!