I’m often asked by leaders what messages they should be communicating to their teams.
The purpose of leadership communication is to inform, inspire, engage and unite your team. And with this in mind, I believe the most important messages to communicate are those that:
- Connect your team with the big picture
- Instil a sense of confidence
- Foster a culture of collaboration
Last time we spoke about messages that connect your team with the big picture. Today we’re looking at messages that instil confidence amongst your team.
Lead so others follow
One of my favourite quotes is from the book Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. They write: “A leader charging forward without any followers is just out for a walk”.
In their research, they asked over 10,000 followers what they need from a leader in order to follow them. Their answer was: stability, hope, trust and compassion.
In order to persuade your team to follow you, you need to communicate messages that instil confidence in:
- the stability of today
- the hope and outlook of tomorrow; and
- in you as the compassionate, trusted leader to guide them to success.
Confidence… in today
In line with Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, your team needs to know that they are safe and secure in their jobs. It’s hard to stay focused and engaged if you are living with the fear of redundancy, or your company going under!
Even if you are going through tough times, you still need to instil that confidence by communicating messages that convey strength and a clear plan of attack to navigate these challenges.
Confidence… in tomorrow
Your team also wants hope. They want to feel confident about the future. Without a future vision they will lack focus, direction and confidence in the long-term security.
Again, there’s no point painting a picture of the future through rose-tinted glasses. So don’t just talk about the opportunities. Remember to communicate the challenges and how you can overcome those, together.
Confidence… in you
Lastly, your team needs to feel confident in you as the leader who will empower them and lead them to success. They need to know that you are in it for the long haul; that they can trust you. That you understand and care about them. That you have their backs and will do all that you can to help them succeed.
It’s not simply enough to say you care – you need to show it.
If you can make sure your words, actions and behaviour communicate messages that instill confidence in:
- the stability of today
- the hope and outlook for tomorrow
- and in you as the leader who is going to lead them to success…
…then you will inspire your team to follow you on your journey.