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3 nonoptional leadership rules

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Some communication and leadership advice will go in one ear and out the other. However, here are three rules that are absolutely mandatory—if you want to be a solid communicator and effective leader:

Ensure that your actions match your words. Effective communication is about so much more than the words you speak or write. Every action you take or decision you make communicates something to your employees.

Think about it: You can say you value teamwork, honesty and ethical behavior; but if you reward or recognize the biggest, sneakiest, most self-centered person on the team just because she sells the most, you are telling employees that what you really value is someone who hits their numbers, regardless of how they act.

Stop pushing so hard. Some people, no matter how hard you try, aren’t going to buy into your ideas and fully support your plans. They must see changes actually work and benefit the team, themselves or the organization before they recognize their value.

While you should expect employees to work hard to successfully execute changes, don’t waste your time and energy trying to change their minds. Instead, focus on making the idea or plan work, and let the success speak for itself.

Consistency trumps intensity. Informally checking in with employees for just a few minutes each day to monitor their progress, see how they are doing, and offer your thoughts and suggestions is much more effective than waiting for one intense annual feedback session.

Those quick meetings allow you to build trust, troubleshoot issues as they arise and correct behavioral and performance missteps before they become full-blown problems.

— Adapted from “3 Communication Tips Every Leader Needs to Know,” Adam Gale, Management Today, www.managementtoday.co.uk.

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