Over the past few years, many of my clients have come to me, wringing their hands, saying, “We’ve got an experience gap. Our top leaders and managers will be retiring in the next 3-5 years and the next generation is just not prepared to take over.” In the past few months, these complaints are on the rise- with organizations struggling to help new and emerging leaders transition from peer to boss and “technician” to leader.
There are many aspects to preparing the next generation of leaders, but one of the most important, common denominators is developing their communication skills.
No matter your field or industry, communication skills are what will make or break a leader, including the following critical skills:
Choosing words wisely, effective nonverbal communication, controlling emotions, effectively expressing emotions, and active listening are just some of the important skills a leader needs to master. Without these skills to navigate daily interactions and set the example for others, a leader is likely to see his or her team’s productivity go down, conflict may increase, and customer service will likely suffer.
Providing Positive and “Performance Improvement Feedback”
If your next generation of leaders’ idea of feedback is the annual performance appraisal, you’re in trouble. It’s critical that leaders be able to effectively provide DAILY feedback to employees, peers, and supervisors. This includes redirecting poor performance, feedback to maintain good performance, and praise to reward excellent performance.
Many leaders create unnecessary conflict between themselves and their employees and ineffectively manage conflict between employees. A leader with great conflict resolution skills sees conflict as an opportunity to get things out in the open and solve problems. However, it takes specific understanding of individual conflict styles, the conflict process, and how to hold conflict discussions to reap the benefits of a positive outcome from a conflict situation.
Leading Effective Meetings
If you ask most employees what their biggest waste of time is at work, many will say “meetings.” From too many meetings to meetings that run long and accomplish nothing, leaders need the skills to make meetings work! Proper planning is the first step, being able to facilitate discussions during the meeting, and following up on action items are key to meeting success. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t know how to manages the three phases of effective meetings.
Bottom line, excellent communication is the most important key to any leader’s success. If you want your organization to succeed once you’ve moved on and the next generation has taken over, you need to prepare them to “take the reins,” by helping them master these and other critical communication skills.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the idea of trying tackle this leadership training challenge, I’m here to help! My “Critical Communication Skills for Leaders and Business Professionals” self-paced virtual training will cover these topics and more, giving your next generation of leaders the foundation they need for leadership success.
To make the decision to act now easier, I’m offering you 20% off (almost $100) now though June 31 when you use coupon code: SUMMER20.
For more information or to register, go to: https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/22567/about
If you have multiple employees who need this training, let us set up a “Your Company Leadership University!” Click here to email me to learn more!
Amy Castro is a workplace communication expert, speaker, trainer, and writer of The Performance Communication Blog. She also authored the book, Practical Communication- 25 Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Getting Along and Getting Things Done.