Leadership communication training is a critical aspect of your leadership development and effective communication is one of the most important skills for a leader to master. Learning how to communicate is vital, but it’s just as important to be aware of what you communicate. You are always communicating so it’s vitally important to ensure you’re sending the right message. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
What you say, may not be what you are really communicating. A boss I worked for regularly spouted the normal platitudes about integrity and teamwork, but his actions did not support his rhetoric. He was often dishonest in his relations with the team and proved more than willing to harm a team member to further his own success. What he said, and what he communicated were complete opposites.
To ensure you are communicating what you intend to communicate, there are a few vital points you must have clear in your own mind because they affect what you communicate to your team.
1. Your vision. As a leader you must be able to articulate a vision and your actions must demonstrate that you truly believe in that vision. If you have a vision of your team accomplishing great things, you will tend to have a more positive attitude which will be evident to your team. If you have no vision of your team beyond just getting the work done, they’ll see that too and probably won’t be inclined to go beyond the minimum requirement
2. Your values. No matter what you say, your real values shine through like a spotlight. You can talk about honesty, but if you’re dishonest, that’s the value your team will see. Leaders must live the values they claim to hold.
3. Your leadership philosophy. Your leadership philosophy includes the previous two points but goes well beyond them to clearly state what you believe, your priorities, what you expect, and what the team can expect from you. It’s best to write this down and give a copy to everyone. Then, make sure that’s what you’re communicating.
As a military commander I told my junior leaders they were always on parade. As a team leader, you are too. Take leadership communication training seriously. Your team hears what you say but they are also watching what you do. They will see who you are, in spite of what you say.
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