Communication Skills In Leadership: Importance And Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Strong communication skills enable leaders to provide necessary information and direction to their teams. They may use a broad range of communication techniques to strengthen interpersonal understanding and enhance morale and professionalism. By understanding how crucial communication is for leading your team members and increasing productivity, you can take specific steps to improve your skills. In this article, we discuss the importance of communication skills in leadership, learn the benefits of communication skills for leaders and explore some ways to develop your communication skills.

Importance of communication skills in leadership

Communication skills in leadership are important as they enable you to take responsibility for your team and convey your message in clear, unambiguous terms. With excellent communication, you can set the tone for your workplace and make it easier for your team members to understand your work expectations. It may also help you create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and getting feedback.

If you are leading a team with multiple employees or multiple teams working on diverse projects, leadership communication skills become even more crucial. You can ensure that the teams know their work goals and continue working towards these as per the established plan and on schedule. It may also help you communicate instructions and feedback across teams clearly.

Related: A Guide To The 7 C's Of Communication

Benefits of communication skills for leaders

Leadership communication skills can be beneficial for achieving the following:

Improving team morale

Positive team morale can make a significant difference in the workplace environment, and you can achieve it by communicating regularly and clearly with your team members. With a combination of good leadership and communication skills, you can inform the team of what you expect from them and provide the guidance and direction they require to complete their work. When the team members find their work satisfactory, they are likely to enjoy their job and have better morale overall.

Related: Motivation At Work: How To Motivate Employees In Their Jobs

Enhancing productivity

Good communication skills for leaders bring the benefit of raising productivity levels of the team. You can discuss project-related matters and help the team understand their assigned work. You can provide guidance and motivational messages to inspire them to do better. When they realise the value of their contribution to the overall project, they may put in more work, which can enhance workplace productivity.

Boosting efficiency

By communicating the project goals and schedule to your team members, you can ensure everyone understands their role in the project. You can let them know what they require to do and when. They are then likely to be more efficient in completing the work and on schedule. With the focus on specific work activities, it may be possible to save on time, money and other resources.

Facilitating internal communication

As the team leader, you can set the tone for communication within the team. When you are clear about your expectations and encourage the team members to express their opinions and provide their inputs, they are likely to follow your lead and become more open in their interpersonal communication. That can enable them to collaborate better within the team.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples

Ensuring workplace transparency

Workplace transparency is desirable since it facilitates the sharing of internal information. It makes it possible for everyone to stay informed regarding work projects, opportunities, assignments and progress. With strong communication skills in leadership, you can ensure workplace transparency and help everyone in the team to understand the project, its goals and the outcome the company expects. That can enable your team members to evaluate their options and make informed decisions that may benefit them and the company.

Ways to develop communication skills

You may develop effective leadership and communication skills by adopting the following suggestions:

Be authentic

People can sense when you are being authentic, and they may then be more willing to listen to you. This can enable you to build genuine relationships with them and form strong bonds. When you get along well with your team members and colleagues, it can improve communication within your department and throughout the company. People may be more open to expressing themselves with you and seeking your feedback in work matters.

Practise active listening

When you communicate with your team members, be sure to give them your complete attention and listen to what they are saying. If you do not understand anything, ask them to rephrase the matter and ask relevant questions for further clarification. It can also help to enquire if they have any questions for you or would like you to re-explain any work issues.

Cultivate empathy

Along with getting to know your team members well, you can communicate better with them by being empathetic. Cultivating empathy can also help you communicate with people you do not know but require interacting with for business purposes. Empathy can enable you to be more sensitive towards other people and gauge their feelings more accurately. You can then use a communication style that is likely to resonate with them and allow you to work together effectively.

Lead by personal example

As a leader, you may set the tone and direction of interpersonal relations in the workplace. If you are reliable and practice open, clear communication, your team may take the cue from you and model their communication techniques on yours. That means if you are effective in your communication, your team is likely to get better at it, too.

Be available and approachable

For effective workplace communication, it is essential that you remain present in the office during the project and be available to your team whenever they want to discuss work with you. When you encourage the team to approach and speak with you, they may feel comfortable coming to you for guidance and feedback. They may also be willing to offer suggestions and help you find new solutions for project-related issues. Open communication can improve their performance levels and overall work productivity.

Adapt your communication style

When interacting with your team members, it may help to study how each person communicates and prefers others to communicate with them. For instance, some team members may require you to give them detailed explanations, and others may respond better to a brief overview. By adapting your communication style to suit each individual, you can reach a better mutual understanding. It may make it easier to influence them and achieve the project and company goals.

Prioritise information to share

While you may have access to a great amount of project-related information as the project leader, it may not necessarily be in the project's best interest to share it all at once. So, when working on a project, it is up to you to decide which information you want to convey to your team. By prioritising essential information at the right time, you can provide your team members with the exact knowledge they require for doing their work.

You can also choose how much you wish to share, when and in which stages. That way, you can avoid overburdening or confusing them with information that is not crucial at that stage. You can provide it when necessary as the project progresses.

Communicate consistently

Being consistent in your professional communication with your team members can ensure that you remain in regular touch with them regarding the project work. Depending on your preference, you can communicate with them in person in one-on-one sessions or at group meetings by phone, video conferencing, email, text messages and memos. Along with formal communication, you can also have informal conversations in the workplace to discuss work issues and provide work assessments.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Provide work examples

For some projects, especially if they are complex, it may be necessary to communicate your expectations by showing the team examples of previous or related work. Referencing such samples can help the team members see how you want the project to proceed and the expected result. They can ask you relevant questions to further understand what you want and do the required work.

Ensure fair and impartial treatment

It is essential to maintain an impartial attitude and be fair to everybody when interacting with your team members. You can communicate your expectations clearly to your team and let them know they are being assigned their tasks as per their abilities to meet the project requirements. You can also announce performance-based rewards to deserving team members. When people realise you value their work and acknowledge their contributions, they are likely to work harder and become more involved in meeting project goals.

Share project feedback

After completing projects, you can meet with your team members to discuss what went right with the work and the things you can improve. You can discuss the work details that the team requires paying more attention to and the new skills they may acquire. By providing honest and tactful feedback, you can motivate the team to work better on future projects.

Explore more articles