Leadership

Why communication is the most important skill for business leaders

Scoring a job interview is both exciting and nerve racking. In the midst of all the emotion, however, it's important to make sure the leadership team's values mirror your own, since a company's management can make or break the job.

The No. 1 thing a leadership team should possess before you accept a new job is a clear, cohesive message, according to company review website Glassdoor.

Typically, leaders serve as the face of the company and are not always accessible at the office on a day-to-day basis. Potential employees should look for how well the executive team can "consistently and clearly communicate what needs to be done and what they are looking for to demonstrate success," Carol Bowser, president of Conflict Management Strategies Inc., tells Glassdoor.

Poor communication and a lack of transparency can have a major impact on a company and create a negative work environment and resentful employees, explains Bowser.

So how do you find out how effective a management team is at this? Just ask.

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Job seekers would be wise to ask about the managerial styles of their potential employers during their interviews. Some questions to ask include:

  1. Do they value work-life balance?
  2. Are they available to meet with employees?
  3. Are the leaders hands off or more involved with the daily operations of the department?
  4. How much turnover is there in the upper levels of the company?
  5. Do the leaders provide updates or communication to the employees often?

If you are already working at a company, you can still evaluate your current leadership team by asking these questions. It's also important to seek advice from other employees in a way that is productive.

A good place to start is by looking at how stressed out your leadership team is. A stressed management team usually finds it hard to manage others well. This has a trickle-down effect that can cause you to be stressed working under them and potentially hurt your productivity.

"Ask questions that come from a place of curiosity, not judgment," advises Bowser. "You are being hired for your brain and ability to execute tasks."

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See also: Mark Zuckerberg, Satya Nadella and Bill Gates share this crucial personality trait for achieving success