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Why does it matter?
The success of any leader in working with and influencing those around them depends on how good their interpersonal skills are. If a leader is able to form a human connection with the people he interacts with, through gestures, through the way he or she communicates and presents him or herself, the easier the task of leadership becomes. The most successful leaders not only possess an aura of authority, but also employ the following skills.
1. Making others feel special
Never underestimate the power of a genuine compliment, a ‘well done’ or ‘congratulations’. Positive words make people feel special. Great leaders have the power to make others feel connected to them and not just with words. They use body language e.g. the way they maintain eye contact – conveying a feeling of importance and respect to the other person.
2. Be interesting and inspirational
The role of a leader is to help the organization achieve its goals. To do this, the leader must be an engaging communicator – clear, confident and compelling so that those being lead take initiative in working towards the goals. Interesting and inspirational leaders make it easy for others to follow.
3. Honesty and consistency
Clear communication from the beginning is crucial to making sure projects are well received and acted on. From the very beginning it takes honesty and consistency on each aspect of the project. When a leader communicates clearly and is consistent in their opinions, it builds trust and avoids conflict and misunderstandings.
4. Be a role model
Effective leadership and communication skills have a direct link with how people behave and communicate with each other. If a leader wants everyone to communicate in a transparent and open way, then he should do the same. Anyone can hand out information, but it’s a skill to communicate information in a way that is heard and understood by others.
5. Be a good listener
Excellent listening skills are paramount to learning how others are feeling. Communication is not a one way street, much of it is about truly listening and understanding others. If a person feels that a leader understands them, they will be much more willing to voice an opinion, thoughts and ideas – a positive sign for any organization.
We’d love to hear from YOU…
It takes practice to communicate clearly. Tell us about your experience of communicating as a leader or as the person being led. Is there anyone who has inspired you? Leave your answer in the comments below!