The Importance of Interpersonal Communication
Without proper, clear and concise communication, you can’t hope to become an effective leader.
Communication is your best tool for explaining your ideas, setting expectations, and building your team. Today, we’ll talk about why strong communication skills are essential for leaders and share some tips about how to communicate effectively both in writing and in person.
Interpersonal communication is what builds relationships. If you listen to employees complain about their bosses and employers, one of the top issues they’re dealing with is usually lack of a direct and clear channel of communication.
Of course, communication goes both ways. But, as a leader, it’s your job to set the tone for interaction within your organization or team.
- Minimizes misunderstandings and confusion
- Ensures that team members know what you expect
- Encourages communication among team members
- Increases the chances that you’ll reach your goals
Any time you touch base with your team or with a client, you’re using communication skills. That means every phone call, every meeting, every chat, and every email reflects your ability to communicate and keep a pulse on how projects are going.
Tips for Effective Communication in Writing
What makes for effective communication? The hallmarks of a good communication are clarity, detail, and honesty.
Clarity means that you must be able to articulate what you want in a way that the person you’re talking to can understand. You’re not communicating effectively if the listener or reader can’t understand what you need or expect from them.
Detail means that you are specific about what you want, expect, or need to know. If you delegate a task and the team member still has questions about what to do or how to do the job, your communication skills have fallen short.
Honesty means that you must be truthful when communicating with your team. That doesn’t mean you need to tell them everything you’re thinking all the time, but it does mean that you cannot mislead them or deliberately omit information that might help them achieve the goals you’ve laid out for the team.
Here are a few tips for communicating effectively:
- In writing, keep your sentences and paragraphs short
- Think about what you say before you say it
- Always keep your audience in mind. Don’t use jargon unless you’re sure they’ll understand it
- Pay attention to how the listener reacts to what you say
- Be available to answer questions and patient while you do it
These tips will help you be an effective communicator and enhance your ability to lead.