Communicate Like a Leader: Three Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills at Work

Becoming a leader isn’t just a change in title or office space. Becoming a leader means you’re ready to create vision and motivate your team. Improving your communication skills at work will help set you apart as a capable and confident leader.

Two women communicating at work

Improving your communication skills at work

Great leaders can present clear objectives, appeal to their teams, and use the power of language to create a strong following. 

Whether you’re currently in a leadership role or looking to move into one, the tips below will help you be a more effective communicator at work.

Improving your communication skills at work doesn’t happen overnight. Get help from our expert instructors when you’re part of MDI’s upcoming Dynamic Communication Skills training.

Know your goals

What you say as a leader is critical.

Consider what you are going to say and and your end goal before you begin each conversation. With your goals in mind, you can use conversations to drive progress and avoid confusion.

Leaders don’t always have to have the answer or a brilliant idea on the spot. Silence and pauses in your speech can be a good thing. These pauses show thoughtfulness and reflect the seriousness of a decision. Consider the three types of pauses below.

  •  Logical pauses – These are the moments when it is natural and comfortable to pause. It gives your team or audience a moment to read presentation slides or look over a document. 
  •  Psychological pauses – These pauses are used to emphasize a point. 
  •  Physiological pauses – These are pauses that can be strategically used to gather your thoughts. Work them into your speech when turning a page or taking a sip of coffee.

Speak with confidence

As a leader, it is your responsibility to communicate clearly and assuredly.

Resist the temptation to “pull back” when talking. Avoid using “filler words.” These speech habits do not convey confidence.

It’s also important to focus on simplicity. Speaking in simple and accurate terms shows confidence and your mastery of a topic.  

Prepare for spontaneity

There is a simple formula that can be used if you are caught unprepared.

First, start with an overview or reiteration of the topic. Next expand on the overview and illustrate your point with a story or example. Lastly, end with a concise summary. This formula will help you be prepared to address any topic or question without rambling.

It’s also always a good idea to have some information “in your pocket” or at the top of your mind so that you are prepared for those times you are asked to “say a few words” or “update us on the project.”  

Dynamic Communication