In reading several publications recently on the importance of good communication skills in leaders, I finally identified a way to help my clients better understand what "good communication skills" really means.
Leaders who are "good communicators" does not mean they're good public speakers or that they can craft an effective speech.
That's a nice skill to have, but that's not what we're talking about. Leaders who are "good communicators" does not mean they're charming, charismatic word smiths who draw you in with their ability to use words artfully. That's a creative art, but again, not what we're talking about. And, leaders who are "good communicators" does not mean they're good writers, which again is a great skill, but not what we're talking about.
Leaders who are "good communicators" are leaders who understand what information to express or share that will motivate, better connect, or help the performance of others.
They share information that will motivate, connect, or enhance performance. So when they receive emails that would make their teams smile and say "Whoohoo," they forward those emails to them. When they get the quarterly data on company performance, they share the appropriate information so their employees feel connected and a part of the overall organization. And when one project team provides an update on a successful process improvement, the leaders ensure the information and insights are shared with others whose performance could benefit with that information.
So what kind of communicator are you?
When was the last time you shared information with your teams that made them smile? When was the last time you helped ensure your employees had an opportunity to hear information about another team, another project, or another department? When was the last time you specifically thought, "I need to get this to Joe. He's waiting for this information?" When was the last time you intentionally shared information that would motivate, connect or enhance performance? When was the last time you were a good communicator?