#250: Leadership Communication Skills in English
If you’ve been put in charge of a project or you’re leading a team in English, then you’re likely spending a lot of mental energy trying to figure out:
What does leadership communication in English sound like?
And the answer is: that depends on your leadership style in English:
- Leader A: Quiet and calm
- Leader B: Extroverted and lively
Conclusion: Leadership looks different for everyone; there are multiple styles of leadership communication that are perfectly acceptable.
However, to truly resonate with a team, leaders communicate with steadiness and trustworthiness.
In this lesson, you’ll learn 5 best practices to effectively inspire trust in your team through professional, confident communication as a leader in English.
That said, you do not need to use ALL 5 of these best practices. Instead, choose the strategies that resonate most with YOUR leadership style in English.
Leadership Communication in English | 5 Best Practices
Best Practice #1: Leaders Choose Their Words Wisely
Effective leaders choose their words with intention. By avoiding certain words, leaders communicate with certainty and remove any seeds of doubt that may have existed in the listener’s mind.
How do they do this?
Leaders consciously avoid:
- And the word “but”.
Fillers like um, uh, ah, like, so, and, er, and you know can weaken a message and sow seeds of doubt in the listener’s mind. Fillers can make you sound uncertain and give off a nervous energy. To sound confident and inspire trust, avoiding fillers is the first step to communicating like a strong leader.
To avoid fillers, try pausing or slowing down your speech whenever you feel that one may slip out in your speech.
For similar reasons, weakeners that downplay or add ambiguity are also avoided by leaders.
- Ex. For instance, leaders avoid words like seems and a little.
Instead of, “It seems that the product didn’t do well this time”
Say: “The product didn’t do well this time”.
By removing the weakener, seem, any questions or doubts about the performance of the product are removed. The listener is explicitly told the product didn’t perform.
Lastly, leaders avoid the overuse of “but”. “But” is a conjunction used to introduce contrast and contradiction. As a consequence, the word can invalidate anything that was said before it.
Plus, using “but” may unintentionally imply that you don’t truly appreciate a team member’s thoughts.
- Ex. “I appreciate your ideas, but we need something that strongly resonates with our customers”.
Use conjunctions like “and” or simply end the sentence to maintain trust, openness, and respect.
- Ex. “I appreciate your ideas. I think we need to find one that will strongly resonate with our customers.”
Best Practice #2: Leaders Are Genuine
Have you ever received positive feedback or praise, only to be confused about what the praise was for?
When leaders overuse superlatives, such as awesome or amazing, it begins to sound disingenuous and has less of a positive impact on your team.
Rather than summing up your praise with a superlative, try specifically communicating how and what is impressive. A confident leader can build trust and confidence in their team when they tailor their feedback to genuinely praise a team.
- Ex. Instead of: “your report is amazing”
Try: “I’m impressed by the careful attention to detail and the depth of research in your report. Well done.”
Best Practice #3: Leaders Are Transparent
Professional and confident leaders speak with transparency in mind. They are honest, but not in an impolite way, and they communicate when details cannot be shared at a particular point in time.
- Ex. If a team member asks about the status of a possible promotion, rather than saying that it could be possible, a leader would acknowledge the request, share expectations, and/or share timelines.
By choosing to be more transparent about the evaluation process, leaders can ensure their team is on the same page and strengthen understanding.
Best Practice #4: Leaders Clearly Communicate Goals & Whys
A strong leader is able to inspire trust and motivation by consistently communicating the “whys” behind a decision, a goal, or even a company’s mission.
One way leaders do this is by introducing the “why” before delving into a decision or action.
Not only will this help align your team to the values and goals related to their work, but it will also give them a clear picture of your vision.
However, while providing detail may be necessary, leaders are conscious of doing so in a concise manner to avoid losing their audience and miscommunication.
The inclusiveness and commitment to clarity will strengthen their trust in you as their leader.
To help, here are 3 sentence starters you could use to explain the why:
- Before we decide who needs to do what in order to get this project accomplished, let’s talk about why this project is so important for our company.
- I know there are many opinions on how we should move forward on this project. Before we get into the how of moving forward, let’s make sure we’re clear on the ultimate outcome and why it’s important.
- As you know, we recently decided to [insert decision], and here’s why [insert reason].
Best Practice #5: Leaders Speak With Authority
Leaders use their voice to speak with power and authority. Teams will rarely follow a leader who speaks with an air of uncertainty and a lack of confidence.
To sound professional and confident, a good leader will practice eliminating shakiness and adjusting the volume of their voice to their environment.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you must have a booming voice that takes over a room. However, it does mean that speaking with a firm and appropriately-loud voice will ensure you confidently convey your points.
If you’re nervous about an upcoming meeting, be sure to practice what you want to say in advance. Don’t just think about it. Say it aloud. Doing this will help in two ways:
- It will help you clarify your ideas so you can communicate them clearly.
- It will help you have clarity and confidence about what you want to say, which contributes to a stronger, more powerful voice.
What are your thoughts on leadership communication?
Do you know a leader who sounds professional and confident?
What is their style of communication?
Aside from the strategies in today’s lesson, what strategies do they use to communicate to inspire trust among their team?
Share your thoughts – and your questions for me – in the comments below.
P.S. Are you looking for a community to provide support, help you stay motivated, and guarantee that you grow? Check out our Confident Women Community.
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