Letting "Fear" Get in the Way of "Clear"

June 15, 2012 -- Sal Silvester

One of the first mistakes new leaders make is to hold back on communication. Usually, this reluctance comes from fear, and it often breaks down into two (bad!) leadership styles:

Leaders who are concerned about losing control often overcompensate by micromanaging and being overly focused on tasks and results. They dole out stingy bits of information on a need-to-know basis, even though their people definitely need to know!

Then there are leaders who confuse “being respected” with “being liked.” To maximize their chances of being accepted, they tend to be vague about what they expect and develop a hands-off style for fear of imposing. While they’re busy looking the other way, conflict simmers beneath the surface.

Both sets of behaviors result in a loss of commitment from your people.

Being an effective leader requires a shift in how you communicate to a style that is assertive and direct, yet professional. The focus is always on what is right for your team and your business. This also means being transparent by communicating in a way that keeps everyone on the same page.

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