When I assumed my first leadership position in the workplace, I was placed in charge of laboratory operations. I was both excited and concerned…
Why? Because I would be supervising individuals who were much older and more experienced.
I wasn’t sure how they would respond to a 20-year-old, fresh out of college “bossing” them around. So instead of acting like the “boss” and barking out orders, I followed my mentor’s advice. In order to create buy-in, I focused on communicating with confidence.
My mentor helped me understand communicating with confidence is crucial to effective leadership. Leaders must be able to communicate with confidence. Why? Because there is a perception that the ability of the leader to communicate with confidence is directly proportional to organizational success.
Consequently, without confident communications, people believe there is a higher probability of the organization not performing to expectations. This is because ineffective communication can damage the organization’s reputation, creating a loss of credibility, and various other issues.
According to Gilbert Amelio, former CEO of National Semiconductor Corporation, “Developing a perfect communication skill is absolutely required for effective leadership. The leader must share his or her ideas and knowledge to aid in transmitting the sense of enthusiasm and urgency to those under their leadership.”
Confident communication skills are beneficial to leaders for two reasons:
- Improves your sense of self-confidence
- Enhances your productivity
In any organization, confident communication skills are very important for aspiring, emerging and experienced leaders.
So how do leaders become confident communicators? First, start by being personable in your communication style. When having organizational conversations, have a dialog, not a monologue. Effective communication should be personal and engaging.
Second, leaders must listen, observe and ask questions. Combined with observations, asking questions can provoke thinking and lead to creative solutions.
Confident communicators use active listening skills to gather data and make informed decisions, earn trust, and diffuse conflict. In addition, active listening improves organizational environment and personal growth.
All leaders must understand confident communication is characterized by a sense of contextual and situational awareness. The best communicators are astute in their observations, ask good questions and are good listeners. When leaders ask good questions, we are more likely to get value-added responses.
Now, the rest of the story…
As my communications skills improved, so did my confidence and relationships. When it was all said and done, my age didn’t matter, however my communications skills did.
Are you a confident communicator?
Kim D. Moore
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