Leadership training will tell you that to lead effectively possessing good communication skills is required. Here are some ways to communicate with your employees and customers.
If the size of your company permits, meet with employees regularly one-on-one. Getting out of the office and taking them to lunch or coffee is an excellent way to open up lines of communication. There may be an agenda that includes career planning, understanding perceptions of the job and a time for answering questions about the business. In this case communication is a two-way street so listen to your employees and show empathy for issue they may be facing. Taking this time is an excellent way of growing your interpersonal skills, one of the key building blocks of Emotional Intelligence.
To reach both employees and customers use one or two of the wide variety of Social Media Tools available. For example, list your company on LinkedIn and send out invites to follow. Then post regular communications of what’s going on with the company. It’s an easy and fast method to get the word out. Private Facebook chats can also be set-up and very useful for a more local visibility. Many companies are using these groups and allowing by invitation contributors to join in the discussion. You in-turn can share availability of new products and specials that may be taking place.
Writing letters is another means of communication. In very large companies where building relationships with everyone is difficult, a regularly delivered newsletter, bulletin or some other creative name will show good leadership. What is important is that the message is written clearly and to the point to not lose the reader after a few sentences. What is shared needs to be applicable to the reader and answer the question, “what’s in it for me”? Most important, write the letter yourself. Employees know if a “professional” writer has created the communication in which case its relational aspect has been lost.
Other methods that may be obvious but easily forgotten. Meetings that may include a single team, organization or the entire company can be schedule regularly. Informal online chats can be used to allow the asking of questions. Be sure to prepare in advance to make it a good use of time.
Whatever communication works best, be present, be real and connect to show what a great leader you are.
Ted Saul is a business coach and writer that assists with Business Plans, Project Management and Career Management. He earned his MBA from Regis University along with a Masters in project management. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn or by emailing TedSaulbiz@gmail.com