Five ways to improve communication with your teams

by  Tal Shnall  |  Leadership Development

Everything you do and say communicates SOMETHING. In fact, the most effective leaders know that their team’s performance hinges on being a great communicator.

“Since we communicate whether we want to or not, it’s in our best interest to get good at it” David Grossman Communication Expert.

When a leader communicates effectively, everyone understands the vision and the values of the organization’s culture. As leaders we find ourselves “out in the field” trying to communicate our messages day in and day out to inspire our teams toward important shared goals. Improving your communication skills with your team is a journey we all must take to motivate and inspire others.

Leaders have a vision. Great leaders articulate and share their vision through their daily interactions by working on their communication skills. I think communication sometimes can be underestimated considering the world we live in. We are globally interconnected with almost every faucet of technology, but we have yet to connect on a level of understanding and articulating a better world.

Effective leaders recognize their ability to achieve results from their teams by generating engagement. If leaders want to inspire and motivate, they must get their teams in the right direction – often succeeds or fails based on their ability to communicate with everyone.

Here are five things that will help you become a better leader-communicator:

Build rapport and get to know your people

People communicate best when they feel safe and trusted around their leader. Rapport isn’t a one-time thing in the day to day interaction with people. It’s a continuing process of building relationships and cultivating shared perspective.  When rapport becomes a priority in your culture, people sense they can approach their leader and have an open dialogue. Without getting to know people on their level, it becomes a hit or a miss to communicate effectively with them on a regular basis.

Take time to explain

As leaders, we tend to assume everyone knows as much about the subject as we do. Yet, this is not always true. Take the time to explain and give a brief background to the subject at hand. Taking time to explain may take additional efforts on your part but in the long run, it helps to know you covered all bases with your team. In one way or another you are setting your team up for success because you wanted to ensure everyone gets the message clearly from the very beginning.

Create a culture that shares feedback

As leaders we must ask for honest feedback from the people around us. We need to create an environment of where people feel safe to share their thoughts with you and vice versa. It’s an on-going process to create moments of truth and accountability in your organization. When people feel appreciated for their feedback, they know they can come back and share more of their struggles, frustrations and aspirations.

Act on the feedback you hearing

Feedback is only good if people are acting on it.  Leaders have a great opportunity to learn and grow through the communication feedback. It teaches us that we need to act on the needs of others in our organization. Great teams act on what everyone is sharing so they can get better results. By listening to all perspectives and taking the information in, we are able to make better decisions for the future.

Face time is valuable

Face time in communication can be underestimated at times. Technology is a great resource to reach many people fast in today’s world. We want to reach our teams all across the world in the most efficient way possible. However, we have gotten away from face to face connection that should not be replaced with videoconferencing. Let’s get out of the office and communicate eye to eye. Let’s build those relationships by a human connection.

“Shared experiences and the give and take of communication are the greatest ways to promote team growth.” John Maxwell

What additional suggestions do you have to be a better leader-communicator?




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What People Are Saying

Mike Henry  |  14 May 2013  |  Reply

I’d add one, related only slightly to your fourth one. Help people feel they can disagree. Act on disagreements and consider all the inputs before making decisions. People will communicate better information if they’re not always trying to guess what you want to hear. Mike…

Tal Shnall  |  15 May 2013  |  Reply

Thanks Mike…you are so right about your observations with welcoming disagreements or other perspectives as it helps make better decisions as a whole.

Diane Mahoney  |  16 May 2013  |  Reply

Love this post Tal, as it includes key points on communicating as a leader: building rapport, acting on feedback, take time to explain, creating a culture that shares, etc…What I have learned both as a leader as well as “life lessons” is this:1.) no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care – be aware of YOUR communication style so as not to come across as condescending or demeaning or make others feel “less than/not as smart/stupid” for asking questions so as to clarify their role, 2.) sharing ideas for the betterment of the company as well of individuals is a WIN-WIN…Sharing ideas causes new communication & interaction b/c it allows the individual personality to be interjected & stimulates others to think outside the box(you know, that AH-HA moment when you say, ” Gosh, I’d never have thought to do that/do it that way!”), 3.) the face time & building rapport/realtionships – VITAL to success of both individual & companies…When the leader knows the person, they can better assign tasks/duties, know how the person works(thereby lowering frustration on everyones’ part :-) )and know what level of excellence to expect from them…

Thanks for sharing, love reading these posts!!


cau lac bo chay bo mofit  |  22 Aug 2017  |  Reply

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
a colleague who has been conducting a little homework on this.

And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I found it for him…
lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web site.

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