Communication and Leadership

Communication is essential in every aspect of life. Communication is the exchange and flow of ideas or information between people. It involves thinking of an idea and transmitting it to a receiver. There are many physical and physiological barriers to communication that can lead to problems in the workplace. Learning how to communicate effectively to your team is an important task for leaders. Leaders must train, counsel, supervise, and evaluate their team daily. The communication process involves three primary steps or skills that are used by everyone; thought, encoding ND decoding (Clark, 2013).

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A leader’s ability to communicate effectively has evolved over time as the new generation has entered the workforce. Characteristics, age, and technology all play a role in how leaders communicate today. Bridging the Age Gap As “Baby Boomers”, people born between the years of 1946-1964, begin to retire, the new generation is stepping into their shoes. Generation X (born between 1965-1976) and Generation Y or Generation M. E. (born between 1977-1998) are a new generation of leaders who have entirely different characteristics than their elders. They balance their time between home and work.

The new generations want rewarding, intellectually stimulating work. They thrive on a more individualized approach to management. Creativity, independence, and forward thinking are all equally important to these new generations. The Baby Boomer generation believes in “paying your dues” (Middleton. Com, 2011) and showing your loyalty by working long then that is Just part of life. It is easy to see there are many differences between the generations and adjustments must be made based on the different characteristics and leadership styles. Leadership styles. The new leaders who enter the workforce value teamwork and open communication.

They will encourage feedback and collaboration among the team, and they strive to gain an understanding of their employees. The new generation leads by example, which creates a work environment that is productive and efficient. Leaders tend to rely heavily on technology and are open to new ideas or programs to better their Jobs. Generation Y is the first generation to be raised with widely available technology. Therefore, collaborations no longer require a physical face-to-face connection. Email, video messaging, Faceable, etc. Are all mediums to connect with your fellow co-workers.

A number of Fortune 500 companies have changed the structure of their companies to meet the needs of the new generations. “A major U. S. Chemical company has eliminated its corporate ladder approach to management. There are no bosses, and there is no top and bottom in the chain of command. Instead, authority is passed around through team leaders, so everyone in the company has a sense of equality and involvement” (Middleton. Com, 2011). Business demands can no longer wait to award he best opportunities to those with the longest tenure. The opportunities will go to those with the most advanced skill sets.

The key to success. In order to truly become an effective leader and succeed in today’s work environment, leaders must learn how to do it all. They must use the most advanced technology available including emails, text messages, instant messengers, and social networks, but also know how to communicate through phone conversations and face-to-face interactions. This meaner the older generations need to make the necessary adjustments to work efficiently in he technologically advanced work place and the newer generations need to learn how to effectively communicate to all team members through every mode of communication.

The overall objective of communication is to understand what you read and hear, and for others to understand what you say and write. When a leader models this willingness and commitment to learn new approaches to communication, they will strengthen their ability to be successful for a lifetime. All generations must work together. Understanding generational differences is always an important part of effective management. Taking time to learn the process of effective communication and to realize that people have their own way of creating and articulating meaning.

No two people ever have the exact same experiences. When we communicate we might focus on different elements or aspects of the words when decoding a message. There are basic communication skills that all generations should use in leadership. When a message is being sent, the leader must ensure to use the most effective source (phone, email, instant message, etc. ), understand precisely what needs to be accomplished and recognize your audience. People are complex and a number of different factors can affect them.

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