Hello Steemians! Welcome to yet another article in Effective Leadership Series. In this article, we will see in detail about the importance of effective and clear communication. Communicating clearly with the staff members is one of the key skills of a leader. In order to reach every staff member, a leader can flatten the hierarchy to make sure every individual in the team received the message conveyed by the Leader or a manager from the top level management. Surveys can be conducted to hear the voice of the staff members. This will help in ensuring two-way communications between the leaders and staff members. This will also be helpful for leaders to be transparent and receive feedback efficiently.
In most of the companies, the information and instructions are channelled from the top level leaders to the low-level staff members. In most cases, it works well if the people managers are able to pass the information properly. In some cases, there is a high possibility that the information may not reach the low end properly. It could even be worse were the information might reach the low-level staff members in a totally different manner. This will end up as a big challenge for the leaders to address. There will not be a proper feedback from the lower levels. This makes it difficult to identify if the information passed, reached every individual correctly or not.
Delivering the message in person to the staff members is an effective way of communication. This direct communication will not only help in increasing confidence among the staff members but it will also be very helpful in getting the feedback then and there. This direct communication can be arranged with the help of an all-hands meeting arranged with the team. The leader will be able to ensure if the message was delivered properly to every individual or not. In a company where an all-hands meeting may not be possible, the leaders can send out a survey to all the staff members of the company to ensure if the information reached them correctly.
Communicating on all levels
If a top-down approach is taken by the company to communicate an information, it is also highly essential to take a bottom-up approach as well in the form of feedback. There is no harm in spending time on this bottom-up approach to ensure the right message was received by the staff members. Make it comfortable for your staff members to share feedback with you by ensuring that you appreciate the feedback provided by them and show interest in listening to their feedback or ideas and provide a proper response. It is not the case that ideas should always emerge from top-level management or from leaders. There can be some expert idea generators anywhere inside the team. If they are given right opportunity, the idea can even bring a big positivity for the company's growth.
Respect the individual contributions from people. Every individual should be an expert in their area of work to be able to grow and succeed in the organization. A staff member should be capable of providing a valuable contribution to their area of work along with the ideas provided for the organization. Sometimes communications with the low levels may even give a different perspective to the decision that was made. In such cases, it will be very useful for the leaders to think on all perspectives while taking the next decision.
Listening to the staff members
Your staff members will always have lots of things to share with the leaders. They should be provided right opportunity to share their views. If you project that you are willing to listen to them, they will be comfortable and honest in sharing their valuable feedback with you. Informal conversations with the staff members can be really helpful in understanding what they really think. You can just walk to the floor and take a staff member for a quick break and discuss things with them. Another informal way of understanding their thoughts is to have a one-on-one meeting with them and discuss their thoughts on the communication that was made.
These types of feedback acquiring methods should not stop only with the senior members of the team. Even a very low-level staff member should be provided equal opportunity to share what they think about the communication or information that was shared. You have to project that you are even ready to accept negative feedbacks. It should not just be in words. You have to take the negative feedbacks positive and provide an update in the next meeting on how you have made a difference after that feedback. Criticisms should also be encouraged and they should not fear to criticise the management decisions.
You can also approach a staff member directly to receive the feedback. It is not necessary that they have to come to you to provide their feedback. You can go directly to the staff members and speak about the issues that affect them. Approaching the staff members in a formal manner will also be helpful in getting a professional feedback from them. This formal approach can be done to the staff members who are not very close to you. To the people who are very close to you, you can have an informal approach to understand their thoughts. Suggestion boxes or idea boxes are also another way of getting feedback from the staff members.
Hope you had an interesting read. Share your views on this topic in the comments section. Meet you again in another article.
My previous articles in this series:
Effective Leadership #2 - Focusing on Quality
Effective Leadership #3 - Learning From Others
Effective Leadership #4 - Gaining Experience
Effective Leadership #5 - Comparing Leaders and Managers
Effective Leadership #6 - Developing Strengths in General
Effective Leadership #7 - Building Personal Strengths
Effective Leadership #8 - Mastering Roles
Effective Leadership #9 - Evaluating Key Leadership Roles
Effective Leadership #10 - Preparing to Lead
Effective Leadership #11 - Staff member recruitment
Effective Leadership #12 - Forming the team
Effective Leadership #13 - Exercising Authority
Effective Leadership #14 - Delegating Tasks
Effective Leadership #15 - Process of Delegation