Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

Have you ever worked in an environment that made you crazy?  Unhappy? Unappreciated? Undervalued?  Confused? How productive were you in that environment?  It’s likely you didn’t produce your best work.  Maybe you left. Trust among employers and employees is declining at an amazing rate.  Does this resonate with you? If so, it’s likely you experienced ineffective leadership communication.

Leadership communication is a type of communication most commonly used by leaders to relay information about the business’s culture, core values, mission, and crucial messages to build trust and encourage employees. In practice, it involves delivering a shared vision and inspiring others to buy into that vision. With clear useful communication, leaders can navigate their organization through all types of changes, big or small.  Without it, efforts will stall or even fail.

This type of communication also builds trust within the organization. Between leaders and employees and between employees and the organization itself. By clarifying company culture and structure, it helps employees to align better within the organization. It helps prevent miscommunications within the organization and ensures that all employees, and employers, are kept up to date with important information.

In 2022 almost 69% of managers reported that they are uncomfortable communicating with employees. By taking the time to improve leadership communication skills in your organization, you will also be upskilling managers in a variety of areas and making them much more effective.

Leaders with good communication skills are better at mentorship, problem-solving, and project management.  They do not hide or twist information. If employees find out that they are being misled, especially about important matters like the financial state of the business or a big upcoming change, then they are very likely to look for a job with a different company – one that they feel they can trust.

As much as it is unpleasant, being wrong is a critical part of learning and growing.  Never admitting that you got something wrong will eventually leave you standing alone. Before speaking, take your time and make sure that you are transmitting information and/or opinions that are considered and well-informed.  Rumors and opinions not based in fact are negative and divisive. They should not be included in any leadership communication.

In the workplace, clear and efficient communication is crucial for fostering understanding, collaboration, and overall productivity.  It involves more than just words. It requires active listening, empathy, and the thoughtful selection of channels and language. It involves self-awareness and insight. It fosters meaningful connection.  It isn’t contentious.

Effective communication leads to:  Enhanced Team Productivity –members know how they belong and their role within the organization; Improved Team Morale – employees feel valued and included, contributing to higher job satisfaction and morale; Conflict Resolution -managers who can navigate difficult conversations with tact and empathy foster a culture where conflicts are addressed constructively, rather than being left to fester; Innovation and Creativity -team members feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and contributing to the innovation and creative process and it Builds Trust and Credibility – trust is the bedrock of any successful team. Managers who communicate honestly and transparently build trust and credibility with their teams, creating a foundation for long-term success.

Leadership communication is powerful when each member of the team is allowed to freely express their thoughts and ideas without fear of backlash, judgement or punishment. It creates an environment where open dialogue flourishes, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration. This not only increases employee engagement but also cultivates a more productive and talented workforce.

Are you a communication leader? Not sure?  Take a hard look at your workplace.  If it is toxic, work needs to be done.

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
She may be reached at 303-638-7127; scornay@comm-concepts.com; www.comm-concepts.com; Facebook.com/Communication Concepts; X @CommConceptsPR; or Linked In.

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