Communication Skills Listening – Nichols and Stephens (1957) estimate that 45 percent of all communication is spent listening while far less is spent speaking. Communication is essential to the success leaders and the most influential portion is listening but listening is more than just hearing. Listening is the active engagement of communication to search for complete understand of the meaning of another’s message (Hayes, 1991). To be a superior listener one must be able to read verbal and non-verbal messages to obtain the full meaning (Hayes, 1991). Hayes (1991) speaks about four main types of listening that successful leaders possess. Comprehensive listening – This type of listening is used to obtain facts such as in lectures of interviews. Information gathered from this listening type is retained for future use (Hayes, 1991 C] Evaluative listening- Information gathered from this type is used to make judgments concerning persuasive messages of others such as sales offers. This includes the evaluations of positives and negative of the message (Hayes, 1991). C] Empathic listening – This listening type is used when the speaker needs someone to listen and understand. This could be a leader in a counseling situation or a team member with a sensitive personal matter.
The listener demonstrates a willingness to understand the message (Hayes, 1991). C] Appreciative listening- This is listening for pleasure (Hayes, 1991). Included in this is listening to music, poetry or hears one’s own successes. Building relationships in the workplace can be built on appreciative listening. Discussing with peers topics that encourage friendships build business partnerships that lead to leadership success. Non-Verbal Listening – &There is more to listening than meets the ear’ (Hayes, 1991, pop). An effective leader will communicate being knowledgeable of non-verbal messages being sent.
Vocal tone, facial expressions, bodily positioning, and rate in which words are spoken can all envoy a message. There are three roles of non-verbal communication. Repetition/Complimentary- This type of communication example would be pointing while giving directions. This simply confirms or repeats what is being said verbally (Durbin, 2010). C] Substitution – In place of verbal communication, the messenger uses a non- verbal behavior such as shrugging of the shoulders (Durbin, 2010). For example, when asked ‘how did the interview go? ‘, the other may respond with a thumbs up gesture.
C] Contradictory – This is when the verbal and non-verbal communication does not match. For example, “banging the table and shouting ‘I’m not angry” (Hayes, 1991, pop) Assertiveness Skills Influencing – Assertiveness is the ability to express yourself and ideas without violating the rights or offending others (Durbin, 2010). As problems evolve in the workplace solutions will come from several sources. The leader that is able to influence team members successfully will be proactive within the organization and apply influencing techniques that positive or less abrasive (Durbin, 2010).
Successful influences have three characteristics (Hayes, 1991). C] They have a Lear vision of what they want to get accomplished. A sequence of events as all items may not be able to be accomplished. They understand the limitations of available resources and plan accordingly (Hayes, 1991). C] They pay attention to what needs to be done to bring about their proposal (Hayes, 1991). This leader is multi focused on both their strong areas and the area that they may not as equally competent. C] They have the ability to get tasks done (Hayes, 1991 Successful leaders know what they want and have the ability to get the job done.
Leaders that are non- assertive find it difficult to succeed in management because they are unable to express their needs and influence others. Assertive leaders articulate their needs and are able to influence team members to improve organizational success (Hayes, 1991). Conflict Resolution Skills Even the best leaders encounter different opinions on matters. These differences in opinions may lead to conflict within an organization. There are four basic types of conflicts in organizations and one that specifically pertains to interpersonal leadership. Interpersonal Conflict – This is a conflict between individual members of an organization, occurring because of differences in goals or values (Durbin, 2010). Two leaders may have this type of conflict when determining the legality of a patient’s advanced directives. One manger’s values may prohibit him from moving forward with an action while the other is looking soling on the legal aspects of the documentation. C] Interpersonal Conflict – Within the leader. This may be a moral dilemma in decision making for the individual (Durbin, 2010).
C] Integrator Conflict – between individuals within a group (Durbin, 2010). C] Interrupt Conflict – between groups within the organization (Durbin, 2010). Some basic truths of conflict resolution: Conflict is inevitable Perspectives are not right or wrong. There are many ways to manage conflict. All people need control, respect, fairness, and space. We often have the ability to influence others; we rarely have the ability to control them. BUILDING SKILLS: Key Points to Build Interpersonal Skills Not everyone has the skill sets needs to be a successful leader.
The good news is that everyone can learn these needed skills and improve upon their old ones. In this section, we will explore different way to build competencies in interpersonal leadership skills. It takes a lifetime to build good interpersonal skills. Here are several steps to take as you enter your new leadership role. Communication Skills Active listening is a key part of communication with over 45 percent of communication being from listening, is no wonder why it is so important (Nichols & Stephens, 1957). Here are some key strategies for leadership communication.
Prepare for the Conversation schedule time (Hayes, 1991) – This will minimize interruptions and will allow oh to focus on the speaker. o Stop other Work (Hayes, 1991) – Your scheduled time is to focus on the speaker. Working on other concerns while attempting to communicate with team members often leads to missed of confused information. o If available, Review background information (Hayes, 1991) – Too often we have background information given to us in advance and we do not take the time to review it. By reviewing the information, we will be knowledgeable and able to articulate probing questions.
Attending to the conversation o Face the speaker (Hayes, 1991) – Lets the speaker know that they have your full attention and it shows respect. Understand that people want know that you are listening and not focusing on other tasks. o Assume an open posture (Hayes, 1991) – Uncrossed arms and hands facing upwards reflect a sign of openness while tightly cross arms is perceived as a defensive posture. Maintain eye contact (Hayes, 1991) – “Maintaining good eye contact with the speaker is one of the most powerful ways of communicating that the listener is with him and wants to hear what he has to say” (Hayes, 1991 , p. 6) . This does not mean maintaining a fixed stare. This can portray an image of hostility towards the beaker. Instead, the listener WI want to softly look at the face of the speaker and occasionally shift attention to speaker or listener’s notes or hand gestures, and then return to his face (Hayes, 1991). As a leader that wants to improve, you should enlist the assistance of a learning partner. This partner will observe you and provide feedback on your listening skills. Additionally utilize the listening skills record sheet (Figure 2. 1) to evaluate several leaders.
Identify leaders that are good listeners and determine what they did well, use the skills they displayed o improve your communication skills. Leaders that are non-assertive find it difficult to succeed in management because they are unable to express their needs and influence others. Assertive leaders articulate their needs and are able to influence team members to improve organizational success (Hayes, 1991). Here are some techniques to improve your assertiveness. Be specific and clear about what you want, think, and feel (Nelson, 1995). The following statements project this preciseness: ” I want to… ” I don’t want you to… ” ” Would you…? ” ” I liked it when you did that. ” I have a different opinion, I believe that… ” It can be helpful to explain exactly what you mean and exactly what you don’t mean. Don’t leave something to be confuse of receive incorrectly. Be direct. Deliver your message to the person intended (Nelson, 1995). Don’t tell a group of people something eager that the rumor mill will get your information back to the individual for whom you intended it. This leads to ineffective communication and future interpersonal conflict. “Own” your message (Nelson, 1995).
Use “l” statements such as “l don’t agree with you” (as compared to “You’re incorrect”) or “I’d like you to perform this task” (as compared to “You need to get this done today”). Suggesting that someone is wrong or bad and should change for his or her own benefit when, in fact, it would please you will only foster resentment and resistance rather than understanding and cooperation. Ask for feedback (Nelson, 1995). “Am I being clear? What do you want to do? How do you understand the instruction? ” Asking for feedback encourages others to correct misunderstandings you have as well as help others realize that you are listening with interest.