The Point: When it comes to moving up the corporate ladder, it is things like integrity, a polished appearance, and communication skills training for leaders that take you to the very top. But there is a caveat. While years of integrity and robust communication skills take you to the C-Suite, only one mistake can bring you back to square one. In this post, we list 5 Communication Skills that will lower the chance of this happening… Enjoy!
#5 Excelling At Public Speaking
This is a given! Reaching the proverbial ‘Ivory Tower’, doesn’t mean that you get to lock yourself in a tower (or room), detached from your workforce and clients. On the contrary, you need to face the audience, both in front of you and behind the cameras sometimes. Note that a leader needs to be proficient at both group interactions and one-to-one interactions.
#4 Create Engagement
This follows from the previous point. Leaders, both men and women, have the ability to make their presence known when they are addressing a room. This not only entails oratory skills and the ability to make the message as concise as possible, but also good posture and body language. We typically see leaders attempting to lead, but with little/no one following them! With this in mind, during your presentations/conversations you might want to look to engage your audience with questions.
#3 Exude Self-Confidence
As a leader, you get to make all the decisions and get all the credit for the organizations success. But as mentioned at the outset, the leader gets all the blame, because s/he is expected to know all the answers. Think of it as success being the father of many, while failure is relegated to fatherhood of a few. As an emerging executive, it is your job to have an opinion, and stick to it. But more than that, you also have to develop the ability to make your opinion known and accepted by your workforce without being confrontational.
#2 Enter Empathy
Many executives feel that they should be at an arm’s length from their workforce. However, true leadership entails that you engage with the people who work with you. This means that you improve your listening skills and make your audience feel valued. Turn your attention towards them completely and maintain eye contact. This is will cause your workforce to believe that they have a leader that listens to them. This will also allow them to see you as someone that can relate/understand where they are coming from (i.e., empathy).
#1 Laugh at Yourself
This doesn’t mean that you become a stand-up comedian. However, leadership communication skills do involve a sense of humor and the ability to engage people in casual conversations from time to time. You should also use some self-effacing humor from time to time while also taking cues from culture headlines to improve the receptivity of your message.
Being promoted involves that you ramp up your communications skills, especially drawing attention towards yourself speaking, while gauging the audience’s body language and facial expression to see how well they are receiving the message.
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