Citing a Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO), an essential component of  leadership is the strength to communicate…effectively, efficiently, and frequently!

Effectively means all proper messages are being delivered at the appropriate times and the recipients understand what it is you are trying to say.

Efficiently entails using the appropriate form of communication, either synchronous (real-time and collaborative, i.e. face-to-face, phone conversations, Skype, Go-To-Meeting) or asynchronous (get to it when you can, i.e. email, letters, social media when you manage it).  Determine what is the ideal tool (discussion, email, meeting, etc.) and use that method.  I’m amazed how often someone two doors or cubicles away will spend time creating an email to share a message with that other person!

“Frequently” represents what I find to be the biggest opportunity area for managers and leaders.  Those in your command long for communication so they can feel like they’re part of the action and are aware as to what’s going on.  The need for constant coaching, feedback, status reports and recognition is essential to the performance, and retention, of your team.

If you asked your subordinates as well as bosses how you’re doing in these areas, what would that challenge reveal???