Today I start posting a new chapter from my e-book, Leadership for New Managers: Book Two, http://smashwords.com/b/300090. Use coupon code WL23B for a free copy. Currently we are communicating more by writing or texting and less by face to face. In either case, we are doing a poor job of it. Leaders often get in trouble either by what they write or what they say. In Chapter 7, I offer some simple guidelines to help leaders communicate better orally.
Chapter 7—Oral Communicating
Effective leader/managers understand the nature and power of communications. They practice effective communication techniques so they can better relate to others and translate goals into actions. Leader/managers communicate effectively by clearly expressing ideas and actively listening to others.
Communication is more than the simple transmission of information. It achieves a new understanding and creates new or better awareness. Communicating critical information clearly is an important skill to reach shared understanding of issues and solutions. It conveys thoughts, presents recommendations, bridges cultural sensitivities, and reaches consensus. Leader/managers cannot lead, supervise, build teams, counsel, coach, or mentor without the ability to communicate clearly. They owe it to their organization and their associates to share information that directly applies to their duties such as provides purpose and direction. Additionally, sharing of information may prepare
associates for future duties and greater responsibility.
Open communication shows that leader/managers care about associates they work with on a daily basis. Competent and confident leader/managers encourage open dialogue, listen actively to all perspectives, and ensure others can voice honest opinions without fear of negative consequences.
Leader/managers keep their organizations informed because it builds trust. Shared information
helps relieve stress and control rumors and gossip. Timely information exchange allows team members to determine requirements and adjust to changing circumstances. Informing associates of a decision and the supporting reasons shows appreciation and conveys the need for their support and input. Good teamwork depends on good communications. Peter Drucker once said that 60 percent of the problems in the workplace are the result of faulty communication.
Effective leader/managers protect confidential information. They try to recognize potential miscommunication by follow up inspections, After Action Reviews (AAR), and In Progress Reviews
They use appropriate means for communicating a message: face-to-face talks, written and verbal orders, policies and procedures, reports, letters, published memos, e-mail, web sites, social media, meetings, and newsletters. A leader who communicates well minimizes friction and improves the overall organizational climate.
Leader/managers must assess how the boss communicates and receives information. Some bosses use direct and personal contact while others may be more comfortable with weekly meetings, e-mail, or memoranda. Knowing the boss’s priorities and thought processes enhance organizational effectiveness and success
A. Speaking Voice
The military stresses that leaders should have a command voice. I think this applies to civilians as well. Leader/managers should practice until they have a good speaking voice. Think of great leaders in history and most of them had a great speaking voice, people like Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, etc. I think everyone has had the experience of listening to someone who does
not speak clearly and asking him or her to repeat what he or she said. A good command voice is an aid to oral communications. Leaders can develop good oral communication skills. Toastmasters
is one organization that can help leaders/managers work on their command voice.
Oral communications is the preferred method for communications.