Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Monday, February 11th, 2013
Some people will tell me that they would lead more if they were effective at leading.
Some have tried to lead at times and it didn’t go well. Rather than try again, they give up on it.
Researchers Joseph Folkman and Jack Zenger have studied leaders who were once deemed to be ineffective and changed. They have isolated the things that the leaders do to be more effective.
The single thing that can change a leadership profile is for the leader to communicate more. I have done many organizational interventions in my career and I have never seen an organization where the participants thought there was too much communication.
There are lots of reasons a leader holds back communication.
First, most of us don’t like public speaking. Even if the group is small, some folks will avoid speaking to a group. Effective leaders understand that sometimes leadership requires speaking to the team. They face the anxiety of it and present anyhow.
I’ve found the best way to work on presentation skills is to teach from your comfort zone. Teaching involves sharing information. It involves raising the level of understanding. It involves broadening perspectives.
When the leader endeavors to communicate through teaching, several things happen:
The leader hones her skills at presenting. Because she is comfortable with the material, anxiety goes down about content. Therefore she can focus on how effective she is being at getting the information across.
The team appreciates the effort. They feel trusted as the leader shares more information. They feel empowered as more knowledge improves their ability to problem solve and to create. They are invested because trust and empowerment enables commitment.
Want to be a better leader? Consider your communication strategy and behavior. Take it up a notch. When you trust and empower, your impact grows.