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7 Reasons Leaders Fail: #5- Inability to Communicate Effectively

Nothing is more fatal to a business than poor communication—and this also starts at the top.

Whether it’s too much talking or not enough talking or listening, poor communication leads to confusion, misinformation, and the perception of top-down management.

One prominent tech leader believed he was doing his team a favor by having short, to-the-point meetings, only to discover that since he did all the talking, none of them felt they had the opportunity to be heard or to contribute.

“Leaders who believe their job is to always have the answers will struggle to develop capable teams,” Wendy McManus, owner and lead consultant for the firm Connect2Potential.

“Leaders who aren’t clear about their expectations will continually be disappointed in the team’s results, and leaders who allow gossip and infighting to go unchecked will face issues with loyalty, productivity, and high turnover.”

With technological tools constantly increasing the ability to collaborate in the workplace—even when it’s not face to face, as many businesses learned during the Covid-19 pandemic—there are ways for every leader to improve communication.

A five-year-long Google workplace analysis called “Project Aristotle” studied 18 teams and found that the team makeups were less important than how they worked together.

Clear communication makes room for innovation, freedom to ask questions and discuss issues, and a sense of psychological safety.

This is an excerpt from a feature in the September/October 2021 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole issue.