Musthafa Ebadi
You cannot be an effective leader without being a good communicator!
by Musthafa Ebadi on August 25th, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Saturday April 10 started as any normal Saturday, except that it was the last Saturday of National Hockey League’s (NHL) regulation and some teams including the Ottawa Senators were playing their last game of the season. For anyone who follows NHL you know that Senators season this year has been disappointing. They were supposed to be one of the top 5 teams in the Eastern Conference and at the very least should have progressed to 2nd round of playoff. They rather finished in the bottom 5 and had a dismal performance.

I watched the Senators game on Saturday afternoon, 3 -1 loss to Boston, and hit the gym at around 4PM. As I came out of the gym my Blackberry was buzzing, and I was not surprised to learn that they Senators had dismissed their coach after the game.

Over the next 48 hours I read multiple articles analyzing Cory Clouston’s tenure in Ottawa and what led to his expected firing within 4 hours of his last game behind the bench. One parallel that I could draw from all the articles was the notion that one of the reasons for Clouston’s unsuccessful run in Ottawa was his lack of communication with players. I couldn’t believe that as a leader – in hockey the coach is the ultimate leader – he was not a good communicator.

I started to ask myself “How can you be an effective leader without being a good communicator?”

As a leader we need to ensure that we have a concise vision, a clear plan and objective how to get to that vision, the personality to get your people onboard with your vision and your plan, putting accountability in place, the ability t o keep you team informed of the progress &, measuring the result of your progress, and finally having some fun along the way.

There is one crucial element in each of the above steps! It’s called effective communication.

Generally, a savvy leader’s success is directly tied to his or her ability to focus on the business fundamentals. Strong, effective leaders stress fundamentals like discipline, accountability, strategic alignment, empowering employees, and - the most important key to great leadership - effective communication.

The best leaders need to motivate, inspire, and develop their teams. They also have to promote discipline, accountability and strategic alignment. Furthermore they have to do market leaders sell their products and services, and the only way be able to do all this is through effective communication.

A golden rule of leadership is that Good Leaders are always Good Communicators.

There’s no mystery here. Regardless of whether you’re talking about business, politics, sports or the military, the best leaders are first-rate communicators.

And clear communication is always a two-way process. It’s not enough to speak clearly; you should also be able to listen clearly.

As a good communicator you have to make sure that when you are communicating with your team you should always:

Clearly articulate what you are trying to communicate
Know your audience and judge the reaction every minute
Relate the message to your larger goals
Let others speak and listen attentively
Ensure no one is drifting in other directions or are getting off tangent
Summarize your points and clearly define the next steps

Bottom line, clear communication is the most important key to a business leader’s success. So to grow as a leader and manager, you must learn how to be an effective and compelling communicator. And if you want your company to succeed, you and your team have to master the art of clear communication together.

Effective communication is the best tool I have in my tool box as a leader. Do you?

Thanks for Reading.

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