communication picAs a leader, it is important to have good communication skills in order to grow and maintain a great organization. So, what are some of the best ways to effectively communicate with your employees? Karen Friedman, author of Shut Up And Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners, describes effective ways to communicate drawn from her 39 years of experience working as a professional communicator. “It is absolutely critical to be as direct, to the point and concise as possible,” Friedman says. Vagueness is much too common in a work environment. She recommends spelling out the who, what, where, when and why when communicating with your employees. Also be sure to ask open-ended questions which can save time and prevent misinterpretation. For instance try saying something like, “I don’t understand what you mean, could you give me an example?” Another thing to keep in mind when communicating with others is that people tend to get confused and often zone out when someone talks too long. Make sure to say the most crucial thing first. Be concise and straight to the point. Attitude while talking is also just as important as the words you’re saying. For example, if you slouch, put your hands in your pockets, shuffle feet or avoid eye contact, people will be under the impression that you don’t want to talk to them. Try prying your eyes from your smartphone and give the other person your full attention. Another Friedman suggestion is to deliver bad news plainly, don’t tip-toe around it. It’s difficult to talk about layoffs or budget cuts. However, it is much better in the long run to tell your employees what’s going on even if it is an answer they don’t like. More importantly, do not deliver bad news via e-mail, always do it face to face. Would you like be fired by e-mail? Or text? Remember that just because you’re the leader does not mean the world revolves around you. If you open yourself up to other opinions and perspectives, you’ll discover that it’s much easier to get your point across. Try asking your employees for their thoughts and opinions. If you show that you care, they are much more likely to be open and honest later on. Source: Forbes]]>

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