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Key Communication Skills for Business Leaders

An effective leader inspires change by empowering people to work towards shared goals and objectives. The most powerful tool to encourage and motivate others is communication. Since communication is one of the highest-rated skills employers look for in various industries, it is no surprise that how someone communicates is critical in the business world.

An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) can give students the knowledge and flexibility to reach new heights in a current career or to shift into a new one. Students pursuing an MBA will find that their public speaking, active listening, teamwork and written communication skills will improve throughout their enrollment. Graduates will benefit from becoming better communicators to interact with employees, team members, clients and customers on a local and global scale.

Top Communication Skills

In order to succeed in the business world, effective communication skills are a must. Effective communication not only involves speaking but also active listening, tone of voice and body language. A successful communicator can inspire positive change, gain trust and focus common efforts. Clear communication can promote productivity, boost morale, increase commitment and create trust. Below are some top communication skills that are necessary for successful business leaders:

  • Active listening. Active listening is a valuable skill that business leaders need. Careful listening involves turning off electronics, eliminating distractions, using eye contact and gestures that convey understanding, refraining from interrupting and paraphrasing back to verify understanding. Listening carefully to the overall message can gain trust and motivate employees to continue to share in the future.
  • Non-verbal cues. Non-verbal communication involves body language, delivery and confidence level. When leaders use the appropriate facial expressions, hand gestures, body posture and eye contact that matches their message, they can build a better rapport with their listeners. It is much more effective to convey trust and warmth with a smile and open body language than with a furrowed brow and a closed demeanor.
  • Showing empathy and allowing space for people to talk and share ideas creates a welcoming and safe space. Recognizing, acknowledging and understanding a person’s emotions and feelings makes them feel valued. When employees and coworkers feel appreciated, a more productive work environment and a strong business culture result.
  • When business leaders are transparent and share information regarding daily operations and future business plans, employees feel more informed and connected to the organization. Speaking openly about goals, challenges, opportunities and mistakes can create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and collaborating.

When business leaders don’t actively communicate with their team members, it can cause a lack of motivation, increased frustration and confusion, unmet expectations, low morale, dissatisfied customers and clients, increased employee turnover, health issues and lower profits. A lack of communication causes stress and unfulfilled needs.

The effects of poor communication can be widespread — even projecting to the clients and customer base. To increase communication from leadership positions to employees, business leaders can approach problems as opportunities, acknowledge the effort by using praise, encourage open communication between team members and model openness by being a confident leader.

How an MBA From Northern Kentucky University Can Help

Students in NKU’s 100% online degree program can gain confidence and inspire future employees by developing valuable skills, building trust and enhancing communication. NKU’s MBA program features courses across a wide array of disciplines for a solid foundation of essential business knowledge so students can customize their degrees to align with their interests and goals.

Learn more about Northern Kentucky University’s online Master of Business Administration program.

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