If you feel you’re ready to make the leap to a C-Suite role, you may have started evaluating your experience and trying to figure out where you need to build on your skills. Not every candidate “ticks every box”, but according to a new report, “the need for excellent communication skills has only become more acute given the remote work environment and other workforce paradigm shifts we have witnessed since March of 2020.”
Superior written and verbal communication skills are vital to conveying both personal and company credibility, and the following five are important for influential leaders:
Clarity: Simple, concise communication is important. Decide on the message, and deliver it in a digestible manner, to increase focus and reduce confusion.
Listening and Collaboration: Top leaders should be inclusive: welcoming input from employees and other stakeholders. According to the authors of the report, “affording employees opportunities to collaborate and share ideas creates a sense of teamwork and ownership. It provides insight into the organization’s goals and motivates employees to actively contribute and participate in organizational successes with their own ideas.”
Approachability: Hand in hand with collaboration, C-Suite leaders are more effective if they are seen as being humble and interactive with all levels of the organization, rather than leading from afar.
Reliability: employees and stakeholders need to be able to trust that their leaders aren’t making all decisions behind closed doors. Be as transparent as possible throughout any decision-making process.
Vulnerability: Seeing the leader as a real person is important to most employees; if you can be humble, learn from mistakes, and show personal growth, you will gain a reputation for acting with integrity.