hard skills vs soft skills article

What defines a great leader?

There are a number of things that could be said: a leader goes first, they set an example, or they initiate change. The leadership trait that we are going to discuss today is one that encompasses all three leadership qualities: Communication.

 

I believe most would agree that it is vital to have good communication skills when leading a team because you must be able to inspire confidence among them.

Poor communication skills can lead to failures in leadership and depending on the situation at hand, could even lead an entire business to fail.

Communication is a key leadership skill that encompasses more than just being able to express your thoughts. Effective communication allows those you work with to trust and be confident in your abilities. But, there are many other aspects of this important skill. Let’s get started.

Related: Qualities of A Leader
Related: 4 Steps To Develop Your Leadership Skills

Hard Skills

What are communication skills?

Communication skills include listening, observation, and empathy. Additionally, it is helpful to understand that different communication techniques are employed for face-to-face meetings, phone conversations, and digital communications.

How To Be A Better Communicator

Effective leadership requires strong communication skills. When you’re a leader, employees are following your lead and trusting your judgment.

Communication is more than presentation skills and giving orders or making tough decisions — it’s about inspiring confidence through what you say and how you say it.

Here’s the bottom line. Communication is the key when it comes to anything that involves people and collaboration.

Since humans are a social species, communication is involved in nearly everything you do in life. Phone calls. Emails. Social media. But especially when it comes to employees and others in your company.

Effective Communication is the Key to Good Leadership

A good communicator can rally people around a common cause.

A poor communicator will lose their team members’ interest and create confusion rather than clarity.

Some managers and leaders are born with the natural ability to communicate well, while other individuals may struggle with it.

No matter what category you fall into, your leadership style, or your business setting, it’s likely that you can benefit from paying attention to improving your communications skills.

So what are some specific ways you can improve your communication? I have 5 ideas for leaders and managers.

But first…

Why Better Communication Helps You As A Leader

Effective communications skills are vital leadership skills because they build trust and inspire confidence in those around you, especially employees.

Communication isn’t just about delivering a message, it’s about making sure that your message gets across in the right way.

Good communicators deliver the right information in a clear and precise way that people understand.

Improving your communication can help in many situations and support you on your way to being a successful leader and create value in your organization.

How To Improve Communication With Others

Since you can’t affect the verbal communication, leadership styles, or skill level of other individuals (if only), the only thing you can do is strengthen your own communication skills.

Besides, when you’re a leader who communicates well, more people will understand you, everything around you will run more efficiently, and you’ll gain more influence.

Try these strategies to improve your communication skills:

 

5 Ways To Build Strong Communication Skills

1. Avoid arguing

If a conversation starts to turn into an argument, step back and figure out what’s going on. Don’t argue with the other person, especially your employees.

It’s easy to get caught up in the fault-finding blame game, but it’s not important who was the cause of a problem. What’s important is the mutual understanding of the issue at hand and a desire for a solution that benefits everyone. #winwin

TIP: If you find yourself in an argument that has veered off course, it may be time to take a short break, reassess the situation, and return to the conversation at another time.

soft skills vs hard skills

2. Don’t be afraid to compromise

As shared, rather than trying to “win,” your want a #winwin by reaching a mutual agreement. You may be more at ease with achieving your agenda, but it could come at the expense of another person which can cause more problems. Find a good compromise that you both are willing to accept to reach your goals.

3. Work on listening

Your listening skills are even more important than your speaking skills. As the old adage goes, “it’s why we have two ears and one mouth.”

After all, how will you know what you should say – and when – if you haven’t effectively listened? Listen more than you speak and you’ll gain profound insight and wisdom of others, too!

4. Keep your focus

Communication will often get overly complicated if you focus on too many issues and topics at once. Avoid bringing up the past or other issues and instead focus on the one topic at hand.

5. Stay calm and take responsibility

Adopt a calm and steadiness manner of handling situations. When things remain calm, it’s easier to communicate and get your point across. It is also important as leaders to take responsibility for your words and actions. Good leadership includes admitting when you’re wrong.

Becoming a better communicator doesn’t happen overnight. But with some practice and adjustments, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish building your self-confidence, self-esteem, and emotional intelligence along the way. Your employees will appreciate it too!

All leadership theories agree strong communication is one of the most important soft skills and leadership traits of great leaders.

If you’re looking for career development, ways to improve your leadership and management skills, and become an even better communicator – I invite you to join The Awesome Leader League (T.A.L.L.)!

The Awesome Leader League (T.A.L.L.) is the ultimate collection of people-centered leadership skills to make you a better leader.

We provide on-demand training 24/7 to help you strengthen your communication skills and lead confidently in any situation. I’m eager to work with you on this journey towards becoming the leader of the team people want to be on.

So what’s stopping you?

Did I mention we do it in 20 minutes or less?

Join us! or click to get more information.

 

Rebecca Morgan, Ph.D., is an award-winning former Disney leader and founder of The Awesome Leader League (T.A.L.L.), the ultimate collection of people-centered leadership skills to help you be a better leader. Without EVER being a soul-sucking “boss-hole.” Join us here.