All managers need a range of skills, but there's one which is absolutely vital – the ability to communicate effectively. Without communication, you cannot be a strong leader. When you don't talk to staff in a way they'll engage with and understand, people quickly start to under-perform and pull in different directions, jeopardising whatever project they're working on.
As team leader, you're the one who is responsible for holding the team together and seeing everyone knows what they should be doing, how and when. Fail to communicate your requirements and wishes and they're left rudderless, or they take it upon themselves to act how they see fit, often in their own interests rather than the greater good.
Good communicators can talk to people from all backgrounds and people with completely different personalities. You need to approach this with empathy, so you can see things from their perspective and know how to get your message across to them in a way which will stick and take effect. Whether that message is a new direction for an assignment, the delicate matter of personal hygiene or providing feedback on their performance, you should know how to address them and how to choose your words.
Communication is the number one skill all managers need to have, and other things follow – an ability to 'read the room' and judge the mood, strong written and verbal skills and a talent for tuning in to people's needs. Without your ability to communicate, your team's performance will suffer, so prioritise communication strategies and brush up on your communication skills.
Failure to communicate leaves people with no direction
Good communicators can talk to people of all backgrounds
Strong communication is the key to other skills