Servant leadership can be defined as a leadership philosophy that focuses on service as the primary objective of a leader. This is contrary to traditional leadership where the success of an organization or company is the leader’s primary concern. Therefore, a servant leader puts the needs of his or her team members first, helping them develop and perform their best. It is also important to note that effective communication is at the center of every successful servant leader. Below is a rundown of some aspects of effective communication and how they can help you to develop and become a better servant leader.
Self-awareness is an integral part of effective communication. If you don’t understand something yourself, it would be unfair to expect your team to understand something you do not. As a servant leader, you must be aware of your inner monologue. This will go a long way in preventing you from becoming frustrated with other team members, appearing unsure, discriminatory, or assuming other people can read your mind. It is also imperative for you to be fully aware of what you would like to achieve from each of your interactions with your team, in order for you to tailor your message accordingly.
Understand Your Team
Effective communication develops when properly understanding the people you are talking with. As a servant leader, you need to understand your team members in terms of the things that motivate them while also understanding their preferred learning and communication styles. These understandings have the effect of enabling you to adapt your message in a way that makes your communication more effective. Creating personal connections with your team members also facilitates empathy, which consequently makes it easier for people to build trust. However, you need remember that such connections must be genuine and not exploitative in nature.
Being Respectful and Positive
This may sound like a no-brainer, but sadly, that’s not always the case. As a servant leader, you need a strategy for cultivating loyalty which will in turn, boost the performance of your team. Being respectful and positive in your communication is one of the most important things you must do. Avoid holding your status over members of your team or using fear and coercion to get things done. Instead, incorporate an ego-less, positive, and honest attitude when leading your team. In other words, you will get better results as a servant leader if you serve as a cheerleader as opposed to serving as an autocrat.
Focusing on Non-Verbal Communication
In some interactions, you can learn more from what is not said than from what is said. In other words, the importance of non-verbal communication in servant leadership cannot be overemphasized. Non-verbal cues, such as posture, hand movements, eye contact and facial expressions can all play an important role in determining the effectiveness of your message. Therefore, as a servant leader, you need to pay attention to your own body language and that of the people you are talking to. You need to ensure that your non-verbal cues are consistent with what you are saying verbally. This will go a long way in helping you to become a trustworthy communicator in addition to portraying integrity by showing that you believe in your own message.
Modeling active listening is one of the most effective ways of encouraging honest and open communication in a team. As a servant leader, you need to pay attention when a member of your team is speaking to you. To demonstrate that you are really listening, ask follow-up questions. This can also help you to minimize the chances of miscommunication. It is beneficial to come into conversations with an open mind and be thoughtful when responding to what people are saying instead of responding to their suggestions with kneejerk reactions. This goes a long way in helping build rapport between you and your team, which will enable you to establish yourself as an ideal servant leader.
Being Direct and Concise
Being able to deliver clear-cut messages in a concise way is an important aspect of effective communication. As a servant leader, you need to communicate in a way that makes it easy for people to understand what you want to achieve. That means your instructions need to be clear, with no room for misinterpretation. In this way, you will be in a great position to get your team to accomplish the goals set with maximum efficiency.
As we can see, servant leadership is an effective way of getting your team to perform optimally and meet its objectives in the most efficient way possible. Explore Etech’s blogs to learn more about other integral aspects of servant leadership. No doubt, it is clear that knowing how to effectively communicate with your team members is one of the most important skills you can have, as a true, servant leader. If you would like to become an ideal servant leader, it’s important to consider these steps of effective communication when leading others to reach their goals, achieving personal and corporate success.