Effective Leadership Is Dependent On Great Communication Skills In Times Of Crisis
Without Communication, There Is No Effective Leadership
The world is currently in a state of standstill. Recent events with the Coronavirus pandemic have placed everyone in an uncertain position. With no solid timeline as to when life as we knew it will continue, it is only natural that many of your employees will be feeling lost and confused. They are looking to you for guidance.
The crisis that businesses all over the world are facing right now is one that nobody could have preempted or predicted. And while you, as a leader, may be doing all that you can in response to the crisis to keep your business on course, in situations like these it’s your employees that need the most support and reassurance.
While you may have been forced into a reactive mode, you need to transition back into a proactive mode.
Employees need guidance and direction from their managers on the best way to move forward in times of crisis. They need to hear the right messages at the right times to feel confident in how leaders are responding to the crisis. And in order for them to trust your judgement, they need to be on the receiving end of great communication.
Leadership fails when adequate communication isn’t provided to employees when they need it most. If you are not communicating effectively with your staff during uncertain times, then their own feelings of uncertainty will only continue to grow. So, what can you do to ensure that you are communicating and supporting your company effectively during this time of crisis?
Having The Correct Communication Skills Can Benefit Everyone On The Team
Effective leadership is not only about ensuring that the business succeeds. It also means guaranteeing that each team member has the necessary communication skills to effectively navigate a crisis internally. When communication is clear and effective, all members of the company can move forward on the same page and towards the same goal.
Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages through verbal and non-verbal means. Giving feedback to one of your employees does not guarantee that they have understood the message or that you have communicated effectively. In fact, to make sure that you have communicated exactly what you intended to, you need to follow up and ask questions to ensure your employee understands what you are looking for.
These skills are not just one-sided, they are skills that all of your team should be able to use on a daily basis in the workplace.
When leaders and employees are communicating effectively to one another, they have the ability to resolve problems, build stronger workplace relationships and boost employee morale. On an everyday basis, this will make sure that normal work activities are carried out more smoothly and efficiently. Yet, in times of crisis, they are even more vital as they foster a sense of community and improve employee motivation.
The Communication Skills All Great Leaders Acquire
While you should certainly encourage all team members to work on improving their communication skills, it is vital that you as a leader strive to acquire the communication skills that are necessary for leading others through times of crisis.
These include listening, complementing, delegating and using both positive verbal and non-verbal communication.
Listening effectively is a highly beneficial professional skill especially when you are in a management position. This skill does not just mean listening to hear the message correctly but also to sense the emotions that are behind the message too.
In times of stress, it is often easier for us to get distracted and misinterpret what is being said to us. As part of effective leadership, a manager will need to listen to what is being communicated to them without prejudgement or distraction. They should recognize any emotional signals and consider relevant questions that can be asked. Effective listening fosters respect, trust and openness.
All employees like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for the work that they carry out. When dealing with a crisis, this is appreciated even more. Don’t forget that as you navigate this uncertain situation, your employees are continuing to work hard.
If you notice that an individual worked overtime to finish a report, thank them for the attention of detail and pride that they put into their work.
A great leader is able to delegate tasks in a clear manner so as not to cause confusion. When a situation arises that puts the company under pressure, it is normal for everyone to begin voicing their opinions at the same time.
With effective communication skills, a leader should be able to adequately devise a plan of action and delegate tasks in a prompt manner to ensure each member understands their task and the reason as to why it’s so important.
Positive Verbal And Non-Verbal Communication
Communication is more than just the verbal cues that you give but also the non-verbal. Leaders should be focused on providing positive communication at all times. During a crisis, employees tend to observe their superiors’ attitudes and reactions even more.
Although you may be feeling stressed and panicked yourself, act with an air of positivity during unprecedented times. Affirm what you are saying with your actions. This will instill confidence and will reassure your employees.
People make mistakes and this is natural. We need to remember that mistakes are an opportunity for learning.
If you criticize someone’s actions or work, that you are providing a guide to the behaviour you would prefer to see. Essentially you are giving specific and actionable suggestions, instead of just saying something was wrong.
Consider drawing parallels to other work they have done correctly. This signifies that you trust in the abilities of the employee and makes the employee feel empowered to correct their mistake. When employees lack confidence it can bottleneck their independent productivity.
How To Effectively Communicate With Employees To Improve Your Management Style
Managing others through uncertainty and times of crisis is no easy feat. Your employees will inevitably look to you for guidance and leadership during these periods. So, having great communication and effective leadership skills is essential.
Continuous training opportunities are vital for all hierarchies in a business, not just your employees. To be an effective leader and have the skills needed to guide others and your business through unprecedented times, your business should consider a sustainable training plan.
Partnering with Training Company gives your business the ability to access valuable training content on a wide variety of learning modules including crisis management, communication skills, employee motivation and team problem-solving.
Training Company provides blended learning solutions with eLearning and instructor-led training that allows you and your employees to upskill remotely.
Interested in learning more about the courses we have available? Get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.