Many leaders have yet to realise the link between their communication skills and the level of productivity they can expect from their Team. Everyone likes to believe that they are a good communicator and that other people understand them with ease. Often the false belief is that any kind of focus on improving communication style would not have much impact on the bottom line success of the organisation. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. It takes a lot of work, skill, and determination to be an effective communicator, and if a leader lacks these communication qualities, the chances of failure on a team level would be very high. To be an effective leader, it is imperative to speak in ways that are clear and concise, as opposed to conveying topics in a roundabout, fuzzy, and unprofessional manner. Bad communication styles from leaders have a ripple effect throughout the team, causing collusive behaviour and essentially this denies all team members from performing and achieving at their best. Three key points to keep in mind when trying to improve your leadership skills: 1. Build a Trusting Environment If leaders insist on not being transparent and concise during their communication with their team, a culture of mistrust between team members and leaders will surely develop. We need to realise that we cannot force others to trust us. Trust is a fundamentally critical element to cohesive teamwork, but it has to be initially earned and then fiercely nurtured. If leaders start a nurturing and developing relationship with their team through open and honest communication, a natural progression flows through the team to form trusting relationships with the overall group. Trust is the foundation to successful outcomes for the team, earned trust pays off immediately through improved work ethic and productivity levels. 2. Stay Simple and to the Point No one enjoys having an accusatory finger pointed at him or her, especially not when they have messed up. Everyone makes mistakes, from the CEO, down through the ranks, to assign blame to someone in error merely causes disruption to productivity flow, a better way of communicating would be helping others learn from this mistake, in turn avoiding collateral damage and everyone would feel secure. By engaging with others in this upfront and honest way, lacking accusatory tones or reprimands, leaders are communicating effectively and building High-Performance Teams. Explain to your team what it is you require from them, and speak to them as respected adults. These are valuable members of your organisation, and they deserve to be treated as such. Tell them exactly what you need from them in the least convoluted manner, and they will respond accordingly. 3. Maintain a Sense of Self-Awareness Being self-aware does not come naturally for the majority of people, in fact, everyone has to and should work at it from time to time throughout their life. Being self-aware means understanding oneself on a deeper level as well as from another’s perspective. Having this awareness, allows you to better interact with those around you. By realising and acknowledging for instance, that you speak too much, or do not speak enough, or simply cannot get to the point, you can immediately start implementing improvements. You need to be aware of your weaknesses as well as your strengths, and while it is generally optimal for success to focus on your innate strengths, one weakness that has to be rectified in order to truly succeed is communication. Most communication styles can be improved when a strong sense of self is present or an acceptance that some improvement strategies are needed in order to step up into a strong leadership position. Warwick Hood’s long and diverse business career has carried one common theme. Success. He’s a builder of businesses – a person with the confidence and vision to take his entrepreneurial ideas to the start-up stage and beyond. Warwick’s also held senior executive roles in the corporate world, where his foresight, people skills, and gift for strategy have been some of the keys to his achievements. Warwick’s business journey has taken him through the infrastructure, construction and mining industries in Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and the Pacific. His role as CEO and founder of Momentum Performance is a reflection of everything he’s learned along the way. That, and a passion for helping people achieve their true potential.