Communication in Business Leadership
Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Communication is a core foundation of leadership as successful communication and powerful leadership are closely related. A great leader understands the exchanging of information is crucial to relationships within an organization and outside of it and will work at developing the skills needed to address the ever-changing needs of their business.
Much communication is nonverbal, exactly how much is up for debate. Some people think as high as 93% of the information we gather is nonverbal, others put the number at around 60%. Either way, a great leader knows that as much as half of what is being communicated is through nonverbal means such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body language. Ensure your nonverbal communication matches what is being conveyed.
Be actively present in all interactions, no matter how trivial you think the conversation may be. Being engaged shows that you care and lets the team know they can come to you with any issue and be met with respect. Ask questions that will foster intelligent communication and productivity in the team. Reaching the target is accomplished by leveraging the talent around us by guiding the conversation with a specific goal in mind.
Speaking less and listening more is an adage as old as time. Leaders can fall into the trap of thinking they know what someone is going to say before they say it. Those leaders aren’t being actively present in the conversation. Learning from those around us can only happen if we listen. To show you are actively listening remember to face the speaker, maintain eye contact, minimize distractions, keep an open mind, and ask questions paraphrasing the speaker’s points.
Smart communication can be simple communication. It is not always better to use more words than necessary as this can overcomplicate an issue. Keeping ideas as streamlined as possible can avoid misinterpretations as well help focus the message. Additionally, since many businesses communicate using different media simultaneously, keeping these messages simple will help a leader utilize this to the business’s advantage.
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to regulate their own emotions and how their emotions affect others. Remaining calm under pressure, being self-aware, empathetic, and disciplined is imperative in a great leader. Since all business deals with people and people have emotions, it’s better for leaders to learn how to put themselves in another’s place and try to see things from their perspective. This can lead to better mediation for employee conflicts to smoother negotiations with clients. These emotional competencies can be learned, worked on and developed over time.
Great communication is critical for a successful leader. Managing relationships, inspiring creativity, and motivating team members to reach their goals are just a few things a great leader is able to do. Great leaders know the importance of having a strong clear message, being present in every moment, actively listening to those around them, and being aware of how others are receiving the message.