Harvard Business School lists three fundamental communication skills for executive leadership:

  1. Ability to Adapt Communication Style – Different communication styles are the most frequently cited cause of poor communication, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Know who you’re talking to.
  2. Active Listening – Actively engage in conversations with employees, posing questions, asking for details, and taking notes.
  3. Transparency – Speak openly about the company’s goals, opportunities, and challenges.
  4. Clarity – Be clear to prevent communication about priorities.
  5. Ability to Ask Open-Ended Questions – Use TED
    1. “Tell me more.”
    2. “Explain what you mean.”
    3. “Define that term or concept for me.”
  6. Empathy – Acknowledge and understand employee’s feelings.
  7. Open Body Language – Be aware of your posture and how your non-verbal cues may be interpreted. 
  8. Receiving and Implementing Feedback – Requesting feedback is a tool for gaining insight and growing as a leader while building trust with your team.