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What was one Big Skill Gap for Leaders in 2020?

What was one Big Skill Gap for Leaders in 2020?

Communication. Is this a gap for Leaders today? We think so and it was apparent during 2020.

Great news – Communication is a skill that can be learnt.

How do you communicate? And, do you know the preferred communication style of the people you’re communicating with? Unfortunately as the speed of life and business increases, attention spans reduce and communication types change, resorting to quick one liners: anything beyond one line is missed! Great uncertainties exist currently in the world, however a common platform of quality communication for people is needed. Consider how effective your communications platform is as a leader through a reality check rather than living in an illusion that something HAS taken place. People are looking to you as a leader for the power of communications especially in times of uncertainty!

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”

George Bernard Shaw

Fundamental Communications Tools Work

A June 20 McKinsey article How to communicate effectively in times of uncertainty,” shows five fundamental tools to help leaders effectively communicate through uncertain times. During a crisis, an employee’s most trusted source of information is often their employer. For this reason, a leader’s words and actions can have a major impact on the well-being of those they manage; they can help keep people safe, help them adjust and cope emotionally and help them put their experience into context and draw meaning from it. But crises also present leaders with infinitely complicated challenges and no easy answers. Tough trade-offs abound, and with them, tough decisions about communicating complex issues to diverse audiences. The good news is that the fundamental tools of effective communication still work, so be proactive and do these five things well:

  • Give people what they need, when they need it 
  • Communicate clearly, simply, frequently
  • Choose candour over charisma
  • Revitalize resilience
  • Distil meaning from chaos

Relying on these practices will help team members stay safe and infuse understanding and meaning in communities, helping to carry an organization through a crisis with a renewed sense of purpose and trust. For further guidance, please read “A leader’s guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communities during COVID-19.”

Streamline Communications

Forbes Human Resources Council recommends 16 Ways to Streamline Internal Communications in Uncertain Times.” The world around us has changed a lot in a mere six months, and businesses need to adapt to the situation. During these times of upheaval, internal communication is crucial to keep team members informed and on top of the job at hand. Information plays an essential part in keeping your team focused, aligned and, more importantly, being calm in the face of uncertainty. To help, the Forbes Human Resources Council examine the best ways for a business to shore up internal communication during uncertain periods:

  • Keep Calm
  • Focus On Goal Alignment
  • Be Candid And Consistent
  • Ensure Full Transparency
  • Provide Regular Updates
  • Be Prepared, Proactive And Positive
  • Make Yourself Available
  • Make It A Two-Way Street
  • Increase Inclusion And Morale
  • Take Advantage Of Technology
  • Identify An Internal Spokesperson
  • Pair Updates With Uplifting Content
  • Hold Pulse Surveys
  • Enable Leader Communications
  • Create Effective Remote Channels
  • Hold Daily Video Conferences

Communication is an essential Leadership skill

This week my leadership was absolutely tested and I needed to focus on different leadership skills to lead through a challenge. As a leader, you are already responsible for handling the situations that arise each day, as well as your regular duties. It’s inevitable that you will face disasters or a crisis during your career, and you must be prepared to handle them. No matter the nature of the crisis, these are the four leadership skills that leaders must have in order to navigate the situation, a key one being communications:

  • Adaptability (Creativity)
  • Self-Control
  • Relationship Management
  • Communication

Communication is critical for any leader to excel in, and it’s probably most crucial during a crisis. Timely, concise and clear communication in a calm manner helps get important information across fast when dealing with a crisis. It’s much easier to work toward the best outcome with effective communication with team members. A leader must be able to communicate effectively, control themselves, be creative and adaptable, and keep relationship management in mind during any situation, but especially in a crisis. In turn, remember being honest and vulnerable is key as we don’t always know the answer and we too can feel uncertain however it is important to be open, positive and honest and admit your feelings.

And, don’t forget KINDNESS and COURAGE…!

LeadershipHQ learning covers Communications!

LeadershipHQ are working with Veriskills where our Leadership Essentials Program where you are awarded for Collaboration outcomes. The Leadership Essentials Program is either a self-paced (not Veriskills) or a group and one on one leadership program which takes 6-9 months and gives participants the human capabilities, tools, skills and resources to be the best person and leader they can be. The Human Capability outcomes you will be awarded on completion of our Leadership Essentials program are as follows:

  • Initiative and Drive (Level 3)
  • Communication (Level 3)
  • Collaboration (Level 3)
  • Empathy (Level 3)

Click here to learn more about Veriskills™, and the Human Capability Framework.

This program and coaching will take your leadership skills to the next level!

Leadership isn’t easy and sometimes we need help. I am always here.

Get in touch today to learn more about building effective communication techniques as a leader and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x

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