Communicating as a Founder
Founders are leaders, and communication is one of the essential aspects of leadership. As a founder, you must communicate effectively with your team, investors, employees, clients and possibly other co-founders. It is immeasurably how much honing good, efficient and effective communication skills will help run your business or start-up. In this post, I will talk about good communication, why you need it as a founder, and how you can improve at it.
What makes communication suitable?
Good communication involves exchanging information so that words are not just spoken, but the emotion and context are adequately exchanged. Good communication also involves listening and making the other person feel heard, understood and part of the team.
Why is good communication important?
As a founder, you need to be able to communicate in such a way that leaves people fully understanding of what you say. Your goal is to solve problems, and so your communication should not create the problem of misunderstanding.
How can you improve your communication skill?
There are a number of essential aspects of communication that you can put into your repertoire or improve on, but I will only talk about 5 critical points that, if you work on, will instantly make you a better communicator.
1.Plan your communication.
Founders are often charismatic people who feel they can spontaneously talk about anything whenever the need arises. While that is an excellent skill, it is imperative to plan what you want to say to stakeholders (investors, team, employees, etc.) in your start-up. Planning automatically infuses a sense of direction. Planning what you want to say, how you will say it and when to say it can make a world of difference in how it is received. It is also great to use help whenever you need it.
2.Learn to listen.
One big mistake we often make is being so convicted by our thoughts that we do not allow the opinions of others. This trait can be good for a one-person sport but can be detrimental to a team. You always want the people you work with and those who work for you to feel like they’re part of your dream, that way, they can give their optimum effort. Not listening to the input of others can make them feel isolated and leave you looking like a tyrant.
3.Pay attention to tone.
Whether speaking or writing, being aware of tone is an essential communication skill. The tone of communication carries the presence of context, the varying levels of urgency, intentionality and attention. Taking tone into account when you communicate will ensure you aren’t just sending a message filled with words but also one filled with the intended emotions.
4. Understand your audience.
Every audience isn’t the same, and an intelligent founder is one who is aware of who they’re speaking to and tailoring the conversation to the audience. One tone might be good for Team A but would have no effect or be bad for Team B. Sometimes, it is just timing and taking cognisance of the mood. Understanding your audience and reading their response as you communicate is pertinent as it will be what determines if you’re carrying them along in your vision.
5.Confidence is key.
Your start-up is a ship, and every ship needs a captain. You are the captain of your start-up, and everybody looks up to you for leadership. When you communicate with members of your start-up, you need to convey confidence. Your team shares your energy as the leader of the group, so it is vital that the energy is positive and confident.
So that’s it, five easily applicable ways to help you get better at communicating as a founder. Working on these things would make you a better communicator, help convey your vision better to investors and workers, and help you better solve problems and scale your start-up.