leadership

Here's why you should make communication the BIGGEST part of your leadership

By Cam Upshall, Director & Co-Founder
on August 15, 2019
Are you constantly problem solving or getting involved in the day-to-day running of the business?
If the answer is yes, then you've got to step back and consider how much time you're doing the doing versus communicating.

See, successful leaders invest a majority of their time listening, reinforcing key messages and cultivating meaningful conversations. They understand communication isn't just a way to get things done, but a cornerstone to high performance.

Now consider that around 80% of your time as a leader should be spent on communication!

So let's deep dive into the art of highly effective leadership communication...
Promoting the right culture through your words
The thing is, communication determines culture, which in turn influences "who" works for your business. While it's no secret that attracting hires with the right cultural fit is critical for success, what is often overlooked is that a company's culture is built on language - meaning your words as a leader really make a difference. This is why Danny Meyer, founder of Shake Shack, calls a company CEO "the shaman of culture".

But the "right" words need to come from you - it's NEVER about mimicking someone else. Our co-founder and Resimax Group CEO Steve Hooker shares this view: "You've got to create your own language that works for the people that are within your business. Adopting something from someone else is not going to work," he says.

For IOOF CEO Renato Mota, who invests much of his time sharing his vision to inspire staff, customers and other stakeholders, storytelling is an important way to bring his message to life: "People don't buy into numbers and don't believe numbers. They believe ideals, believe prospects, and people believe other people, and a lot of it comes down to storytelling," he explains.
"You've got to create your own language that works for the people that are within your business. Adopting something from someone else is not going to work," Steve Hooker, CEO Resimax Group.
Crafting a clear vision is only the FIRST step

Now, having a clear vision of your endpoint is one thing, but communicating it unambiguously, consistently and in a way that inspires - over and over - is quite another.

As a former Olympic gold medalist, Steve is super passionate about having a clear vision that really drives motivation, focus and perseverance. Having transitioned his career to become the chief of Resimax Group, a successful property development business, he uses his sporting past to communicate powerful pictures of success to his people:

"You can imagine yourself there. You know what it looks like, smells like, sounds like. The more color you can put into that, the clearer the vision, the easier the focus can become," he says.

So true. Indeed, data from Study of Australian Leadership confirms that organisational performance is linked to communication - the more widely employees are aware of performance targets, or in other words, what they're striving towards, the better the organisation performs.
Facilitating collaborative working
A leader who communicates well fulfills another important function - to ask questions, acknowledge when something isn't working and facilitate discussions. If you create an open environment where your team feels safe to contribute, then you can bring out a diverse portfolio of viewpoints.

Like Steve rightly says, his facilitator role is key to "getting the best of everyone else", and is far more important than being the expert or the smartest in the room.

Of course, communication is about getting to know your people and building relationships too. As Steve points out, although people are similar in so many ways, there's a "1 percent difference amongst us all" that affects how we work and what brings out our best. So it's important to figure out how to collaborate and create an environment for success - through constant dialogue.
There's a 1 percent difference amongst us all that affects how we work and what brings out our best.
As a business leader, you simply can't communicate enough. You outline your vision and goals to your team collectively. Then you do it again individually, in different ways, because people hear things differently and you want to make sure everyone has the same understanding. Then you put your message on repeat for your stakeholders and new customers to get their buy-in too.

Now, if this article has inspired you to think about how you can improve your leadership communication skills, check out High-Performance Leadership app. It's a totally different way to teach the art of incredible leadership - a bit like having a personal mentor in your pocket! The really fantastic part is that it gives you measurable results at every level so that you can track the positive changes you're making, every single day. Jump over to https://trampolineplatform.com/hpl, get the app and start today!

Interested to be the best leader you can be? Drop me a line or leave a comment below!

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