Describing effective communication as a 2-way street is passé. Communication for leaders is much more complicated, and leaders at all levels need to know a whole lot more than the mechanics of sending and receiving information. Harnessing the ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills a leader can have.
Here are some important things to remember about communication for leadership:
Why Is Communication Important in Leadership?
It’s critical. Good communication is a core leadership function and a key characteristic of a good leader. Effective communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined. As a leader, you need to be a skilled communicator in countless relationships at the organizational level, in communities and groups, and sometimes on a global scale in order to achieve results through others.
You need to think with clarity, express ideas, and share information with a multitude of audiences. You must learn to handle the rapid flows of information within the organization, and among customers, partners, employees, and other stakeholders and influencers.
Leaders must be purposeful and intentional about effective communication. You must know how and when to communicate, and select the appropriate mode for your audience. In fact, there are 4 types of communication contexts, including writing, conversing, presenting, and facilitating — andleaders must excel in all of them. It’s the only way to meet people’s individual needs and enable important human connections.
3 Important Facts About Communication for Leaders
1. Authenticity counts — a lot.
Be honest and sincere. Find your own voice; quit using corporate-speak or sounding like someone you’re not. Let who you are, where you come from, and what you value come through in your communication. People want, respect, and will follow authentic leadership. So forget about eloquence — worry about being real. Don’t disguise who you are. People will never willingly follow someone they feel is inauthentic.
2. Visibility is a form of communication.
If you want to communicate well, don’t be out of sight. Don’t be known only by your emails and official missives. Be present, visible, and available. Getting “out there” — consistently and predictably — lets others know what kind of leader you are. People need to see and feel who you are to feel connected to the work you want them to do. Find ways to interact with all of your stakeholder groups, even (and especially!) if communicating in a crisis.
3. Listening is a powerful skill.
Good communicators are also good listeners. When you listen well, you gain a clear understanding of another’s perspective and knowledge. Listening fosters trust, respect, openness, and alignment. Active listening is a key part of coaching others. Allow people to air their concerns. Ask powerful questions that open the door to what people really think and feel. And pay close, respectful attention to what is said — and what’s left unsaid.
Bonus Fact: Contributing is just as important as receiving.
When a leader focuses on their contribution to the conversation, not just receiving their team’s deliverables, they learn more and help the team get closer to accomplishing shared goals. A skilled leader and effective communicator is not only good at transferring their own ideas, but also excels in aligning expectations, inspiring action, and spreading vision. Sometimes focusing on the “leave-behinds” is just as crucial as focusing on the “take-aways.”
5 Critical Tips for Leaders to Communicate More Effectively
1. Communicate relentlessly.
Communicate information, thoughts, and ideas clearly — and frequently — in different media. Keep processes open and transparent, and find ways to help smooth the path of communication for your team, employees, or organization. Shed all traces of detachment and arrogance, and take the time to talk to your people.
2. Simplify and be direct.
Say what you mean. Be direct. Don’t hide behind complexity or pile on a ton of information. Direct communication can be the most important type of communication.This is even more important when communicating in a virtual setting.
3. Listen and encourage input.
Pause. Be okay with silence. Encourage the other person to offer ideas and solutions before you give yours. Do 80% of the listening and 20% of the talking. And showing interest in, and respect for, your colleagues will help you build trust and make the emotional connection that’s so important for effective leadership. Let team members know they are valuable, show empathy, and create psychological safetyso people feel comfortable speaking up. It will show those you lead that you care about both them and the organization.
4. Illustrate through stories.
When you tell a good story, you give life to a vision, goal, or objective. Telling good stories creates trust, captures hearts and minds, and serves as a reminder of the vision. Plus, people find it easier to repeat a story or refer to an image or quote than to talk about a mission statement, strategy document, or project plan. This is key when communicating the vision.
5. Affirm with actions.
While effective leaders master the art and craft of language, speaking clearly, and presenting logical and compelling arguments, skilled leaders also know that communication goes beyond words. If people hear one thing from you and see another, your credibility is shot. People need to trust you. Your behavior and actions communicate a world of information — so focus on alignment and be clear on the messages you send even when you aren’t saying anything.
So what does a leader’s communication style say about their character?
Consider what great leaders do when they communicate. They:
- Handle resistant audiences well;
- Choose effective tactics to influence people;
- Listen to individuals from all levels of the organization;
- Encourage direct and open discussion;
- Initiatedifficult, but needed conversations;
- Are clear about expectations and ask good questions; and
- Involve others before developing a plan of action.
So, to be more effective in communication, think not only about your words, but also about your attitude and actions, too. It will make a huge difference to your people — and your organization.
>Here are some additional recommendations to consider for leaders who are seeking to enhance their communication via actions and attitude:
1. Reinforce intent with body language.
Positive body language like eye contact, nodding, and other relaxed gestures can inspire team members and make them feel more comfortable communicating with you. A simple head nod or smile can go a long way to show you’re paying attention and that you care, and little gestures like this can add up, slowly helping to transform your organizational culture, too.
2. Encourage feedback — and then take it seriously.
Asking for honest feedback from your team or employees can foster a positive stream of communication, and it helps build trust overall. This tactic can also make your team feel more respected, giving them a chance to have their voices heard. If you take their feedback seriously, you will grow as a leader and enhance your skillset. However, if you ask for and then don’t incorporate their feedback, the opposite is true — it could lead to a loss of trust and alignment.
3. Protect your reputation.
It’s important that you don’t compromise your reputation for the sake of communication. At times, you may walk a fine line between being too aggressive and being too relaxed, and as a leader, you need to make sure you don’t get a reputation for leaning too heavily in one direction.
To navigate these challenges, consider asking yourself thought-provoking questions like “When do I stay out of an issue and when do I get involved?” or “How do I respond when errors are identified?” Make a list of communication concerns you have, and ask a colleague to describe the behaviors they would consider too aggressive or too relaxed — their responses will help you gauge how to move forward.
4. Create a compelling story.
People connect best with stories. To be an effective communicator, you will need to craft a compelling story and vision, and make sure it’s communicated well. Your vision should be inspiring, short and to the point, and authentic and bold. Your ability to create and communicate a compelling story will help you bolster your leadership brand.
What Poor Leadership Communication Costs Your Organization
Workplace communication is a moving target. Leaders must continue to find new ways to make their communications more effective, purposeful, and trustworthy. But, what if communication becomes stagnant, unorganized, and messy?
Leaders may unintentionally derail their own efforts to enhance communication. They may not communicate enough because of a fear of oversharing, they may think out loud at the wrong moment, or they may have been too honest with a colleague.
These challenges typically arise in high-stress situations, when expectations or deadlines aren’t met, when an opportunity is lost, or when innovation is lacking. It can be frustrating, but it’s worth putting in the extra effort to tackle these conflicts head-on with candid conversations and productive debate, because when a conflict is mismanaged, costs will continue to mount — whether they result in tangible out-of-pocket costs like turnover, or intangible costs like poor morale, decision-making, or broken trust.
Learn more about the true cost of poor leadership communication and the costs of “conflict incompetence.”
How Effective Leadership Communication Builds Trust
A strong foundation of trust is one of the quickest ways leaders can establish good communication. Here are some actions that you can take while communicating to build trust. As you’re reading them, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 — with a 1 signifying it’s an area that you need to work on, and 5 meaning that you have excelled:
- Ensure that your words and actions are consistent and avoid mixed messages.
- Act in ways that support the values of your organization.
- When having difficulty with another coworker or team member, go directly to that individual to discuss the situation.
- Be a sounding board on sensitive issues for others.
- Share your own opinions and perspectives, even when they’re different from the majority view.
- Avoid being a “yes” person.
- Keep your focus on the big picture and the shared goals of the organization.
- Accept accountability for your own actions and the results of those actions.
- Promote respectful dialogue and productive debate, and work to resolve conflicts productively.
Now that you’ve assessed your skills, how high is your score? How well did you do? If you identified any areas that need improvement, begin today by marking the one that you will start with immediately to start building trust and improving your communication as a leader.
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Connectivity between leaders and their employees is critical, making effective leadership communication a cornerstone to business success…
Especially today, when communication channels are rapidly increasing and the need for connectivity between a leader and their employees is in high demand, effective leadership communication is a definitive cornerstone to business success.. Looking at effective workplace communication as a 2-way street is important, but it also glazes over some of the complexities involved in communication itself, particularly from a leadership perspective.. The most important goal of leadership communication is to cultivate a sense of trust in the workplace through the messaging coming from leaders, keeping employees engaged and focused in the right direction.. Communication is a core leadership function, meaning effective workplace communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined.. An effective leader needs to be a skilled communicator, applying that skill in relationships at the organizational level, in larger communities and groups, and sometimes even on a global scale.. Without effective leadership communication in place, a leader cannot and should not expect their employees to be engaged and connected in the workplace, introducing a host of other detrimental impacts on the success of the business.. Fostering strong lines of communication as a leader introduces a particular set of goals that differ largely from the business skill of general communication.. As a leader, it is your responsibility not only to have good basic communication skills, but also to ensure that the lines of communication you open within your business cover the following leadership goals:. Aligning your communications strategy with the above leadership objectives is critical, but how do you know your skills have matured enough to ensure your leadership communication is as effective as it can be?. To know you have reached the point where your interactions as a leader translate to your presence as an excellent communicator, aim to employ the following best practices into your method of leadership communication:. Being skilled in leadership communication goes beyond having the ability to learn and gather information while communicating.. But, the right internal communications strategy, and the implementation of the best leadership communications practices, can help leaders improve their communication efforts and eliminate the biggest leadership communication challenges being faced today.
There are several types of Leadership communication is each is used depending on what type of person you are. Of course, like many things
Passive communicators tend to act indifferently when communicating with others; they often go with whatever the other person says.. The pros of this type of communication are that they are very easy to talk to in conflict as they tend to avoid confrontation.. They belittle the person they are talking to, making their opinions feel less.. The one good thing that comes with this personality is that they always make sure their point is heard.. This is considered the best type of communication.. This type of communicator would have the confidence to make their point clear to the other person but not in an over-bearing way that belittles the other person; instead, they listen to what others have to say and come to an overall comprise that leaves both parties happy.. A lot of people believe that being a good communicator means getting as many words as possible in or excessive talking.
Assertive communication is a critical skill for new leaders to develop. It helps them delegate tasks clearly, deal with difficult situations, manage conflict, and come across as more structured and confident. In this article, I delve into 9 reasons why assertive communication is important for new leaders.
Assertive communication is a difficult skill to learn for many new leaders, especially if you’re coming from a more passive style of communication.. One day, you might be successful at asserting yourself in difficult situations.. Skills in assertive communication give you the power and confidence to set boundaries with others who ask too much of you and say “no” to unreasonable requests.. They’re so used to being the one delegated to, they simply don’t know how to delegate to others.. If you’re not used to difficult conversations, like many new leaders, you probably avoid them.. Either it’s because you don’t know how to handle them or the idea of conflict makes you so uncomfortable, you simply can’t face it.. But people who can communicate assertively aren‘t afraid of difficult conversations.. Nobody likes to handle a difficult boss, but the thing is, assertive communicators do it when they need to.. You’ll be exposed to situations and conversations that are challenging.
Communication matters - but why, actually? As a leader, supervisor, boss, or anyone in a position of authority, you may wonder: So long as you can get by, do you really need all the fanfare? Communication should become your priority, because effective communication can impact your experience in a workplace – every day, every minute, on a ground level.
Communication should become your priority, because effective communication can impact your experience in a workplace – every day, every minute, on a ground level.. Overall, you’ll notice more conflict in your business if you have a communication problem.. On the other hand, the ability to communicate effectively creates seriously positive impacts on your business.. With that said, if you put time into making sure every employee is a strong communicator, those employees are more likely to feel comfortable in your workplace.. Simply put, if you don’t make time for the necessary communication training, you’ll never end up improving your skills.. Building effective teams is all about ensuring great communication.
If you are looking to advance in your career or transition to a leadership role you need to know how to network to amplify VALUE - yours and others. Read on to explore tips for networking for leaders.
But before we look at the reasons why networks matter – first, what do we mean by ‘your networks’?. In Harvard Business Review’s ‘How Leaders Create and Use Networks,’ Ibarra and Hunter recommend that to be a successful leader, you need to build three different types of networks: Operational, Personal and Strategic:. Operational network Your operational network involves people useful to you for fulfilling your current work tasks and responsibilities.. Some managers and leaders do not reach beyond this network to become more successful leaders – keeping themselves trapped in technical and operational roles without achieving their full potential.. Remember we know that networks and networking are key in both career and leadership transitions.. According to Ibarra & Hunter, “The key to a good strategic network is leverage: the ability to marshal information, support, and resources from one sector of a network to achieve results in another.”. Although active networking in all three areas is important, the most important for a leader is strategic networking.. Remember that it is part of a leader’s job to network or build social capital as part of marshalling resources and achieving organisational goals.. In How to Build Your Network , Uzzi and Dunlap state that: ‘In a monumental 1998 study of innovations in science, art, and philosophy, sociologist Randall Collins of the University of Pennsylvania showed that breakthroughs from icons such as the seven sages of antiquity, Freud, Picasso, Watson and Crick, and Pythagoras, were the consequence of a particular type of personal network that prompted exceptional individual creativity.’. Get things done Leveraging your network creates useful contacts and productive relationships to enhance your work, and along with the stimulation of discussion, provides the creativity, motivation, knowledge and skillset to get things done.. Is it time to put some energy into building and leveraging your networks, and/or your networking skills?. Networks provide distinct benefits: access to unique information that is unavailable in the public domain; access to diverse skillsets; more comprehensive, unbiased and creative views, opinions and ideas – and ultimately, more power to you as a leader.
Communication plays a crucial role in leadership. If you want to be more effective in your role, here are eight communication skills you need.
If you want to be an effective leader , you need to excel in communication.. If you’re interested in enhancing your leadership capabilities, here are eight communication skills you need to be more effective in your role.. For example, if you’re an authoritative leader , you likely have a clear vision for achieving success and align your team accordingly.. Effective leaders know when they need to talk and, more importantly, when they need to listen.. By speaking openly about the company’s goals, opportunities, and challenges, leaders can build trust amongst their team and foster an environment where employees feel empowered to share their ideas and collaborate.. The more transparent leaders are, the easier it is for employees to make that connection.. Employees will know what they’re working toward and feel more engaged in the process.. If you want to understand employees’ motivations, thoughts, and goals better, practice asking open-ended questions.. If you want to improve your communication and build a stronger, more productive culture, practice responding with empathy.. To ensure you’re conveying the right message, focus on your body language.. Asking for feedback from your team can not only help you grow as a leader, but build trust among your colleagues.. Communication is at the core of effective leadership.. If you want to influence and inspire your team, you need to practice empathy and transparency, and understand how others perceive you, through your verbal and non-verbal cues.
In The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership, the CEO of the world's largest executive search firm explains the crucial importance of how a CEO connects
For a leader, communication is connection and inspiration – not just transmission of information.. Communication is where leadership lives and breathes.. At that point in time, we had 5,000 employees around the world; there are 7,000 today.. How do we communicate?. The leader is the message. And before you speak, make sure you listen and observe; knowing your audience is as important as the message you're delivering.. "I was raised with very strong core values," Ahrendts says.. Consider the story of a new CEO.. With hundreds of employees in the audience, the CEO began speaking.. No matter, the CEO told himself; he'd made his point.
The importance of communication skills for leadership and management cannot be overestimated. Learn here how to communicate freely and with success
Most leaders understand the consequences of poor financial management, but not all leaders appreciate the importance of communication skills for leadership and management.. Open is facing the other person with good eye contact and open arms.. Many organizations with remote employees rely on email, for instance; but face-to-face communication – even by phone – is more conducive to the give and take needed to build trust just as small group meetings help open two-way communication more than PowerPoint presentations.. How communication works in and across multiple organizational cultures is a key to how organizations function – with a culture of openness, transparency, and trust or without.. These may sound like: “I don’t have time for small group meetings, I will just do a presentation.. Presentations have their place in organizations, but leaders must not use them as a crutch for expediency, avoiding employee concerns, or fear of getting too close to worker’s problems – that is self-handicapping.. Let people know who you really are – talk about vulnerabilities, problems, and failures.. Many leaders feel some unease when connecting with other people – they need to start with baby steps.. For further reading, we suggest Cotton (2013) Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere: 5 Keys To Successful Cross-Cultural Communication, or Reynolds, et.
If your boss comes to you and says, “I need you take on this additional project on top of your current work load.” What is your first question? It probably has nothing to do with the mechanics of setting your alarm or re-arranging your schedule. When someone asks you to alter a current behavior, your first question is usually why? Because you’re not going to try something new or hard unless you’re motivated to do so. Your audience is no different. If they don’t know why a new action is necessary, they won’t be motivated to help you. The author offers three strategies to help you get to the heart of the why in your next presentation.
Employees and customers are hungry for information, so we’re tempted to pull together presentations and communicate with urgency instead of with careful planning.. But if we present without addressing our audience’s core questions of what , how , and why , we’ll sow more confusion than we bring clarity.. When their communications are high-stakes, most of our clients come to us prepared with what needs to happen and how , but they’ve rarely answered the question why .. Let’s put it this way: If your boss comes to you and says, “I need you take on this additional project on top of your current work load,” what is your first question going to be?. When someone asks you to alter a current behavior, your first question is usually why ?. If they don’t know why a new action is necessary, they won’t be motivated to help you.. You’ve worked through your scenarios, planning, research, validation and poured energy into communicating “what” needs to happen and “how” to do it.. Many leaders don’t even consider the why from the audience perspective because it seems so self-evident to them, they think it’s obvious to everyone.. On the other hand, let’s say you inject your talk with a compelling why — “We can reduce secondary infection rates by 40%, saving thousands of lives” or “We can reach more people and help them advance their careers if we release our content for free.” Answering “why” often leads to a human, who will benefit from the action you’re asking people to take.. Think about what action you’re asking your audience to take, and then follow it with “because.”. For example, “We need to improve our process, because ____.” Whatever reason follows a “we need to ______, because _______ .” Whatever that second blank is, will answer the question of “why.”. It might sound counterintuitive to reveal anything other than the action you’re influencing them to take, but you can better persuade an audience by sharing ideas you abandoned and, you guessed it, “why” you’ve eliminated them.. If your boss comes to you and says, “I need you take on this additional project on top of your current work load.” What is your first question?. When someone asks you to alter a current behavior, your first question is usually why ?. If they don’t know why a new action is necessary, they won’t be motivated to help you.
Generally, a savvy leader’s success is directly tied to his or her ability to focus on the business fundamentals – the daily blocking and tackling that every company must master to be a winn…
Additionally, these leaders have mastered the six basic functions of management: leading, planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and communicating.. Clear communication.. Through clear communication.. With clear communication.. The point itself is crystal clear: In real estate, the old cliché is “location, location, location.” In business leadership, you preach “communication, communication, communication.”. Likewise, if you want your company to reach new benchmarks of achievement, you must master the art of clear communication.. Prepare how you’ll communicate • Clarify the goal of the communication.. So the next time you’re drafting a letter, e-mail or policy statement, before you send it, stop and consider these common barriers to clear communication:. Failure to establish the best medium for the communication (e-mail and cell phones are NOT the best ways to communicate serious material).. Once you’ve determined what’s preventing clear communication at your company, dig even deeper, asking key questions that relate to your business’ health such as: How do you produce strategic alignment inside your company?. One great way to see just how effective writing it down can be is to always have three updated, clearly drafted documents: a mission statement, a values statement and a business plan.. It also promotes clear communication within your management team while empowering your people and grooming them for future leadership.. Bottom line, clear communication is the most important key to a business leader’s success.. So to grow as a leader and manager, you must learn how to be an effective, compelling communicator.. And if you want your company to succeed, you and your team have to master the art of clear communication together, as well.
Why is communication important in conflict resolution? Only because conflicts happen ever so often in the workplace, in groups, in any kind of team. As a leader, it is important to learn how to resolve conflicts.
Why is communication important in conflict resolution?. However, sometimes these differences can bring about conflicts, where each party is dog-headed about their own opinion.. All these things can bring about conflict, and that’s why there is the importance of communication skills.. Effective communication skills can defuse a potentially explosive conflict in a short time, while bad communication skills can set it off!. Winning it at all costs Generally, insecure people find it important to win an argument because somehow they believe that losing an argument would mean that their own worth as a person is taken into question.. Avoiding the issue altogether Avoidance is how many people deal with conflict.. Most people don’t like to confront because it’s a hard thing to do, so the easier thing to do is try to avoid the situation altogether and hope that both parties don’t step on each other’s toes in the future.. While such a method does indeed avoid the explosive effects of a conflict, it does nothing to resolve the underlying issues.. Here are some steps you can take to successfully resolve a conflict.. It’s very natural of us to begin to think negative of the other party, but often the case is that, we don’t understand the position of the other party.. The importance of accountability If you have been a leader who has delegated work to your team, you would have seen the importance of accountability.. Learning to Praise Praising people is an essential skill you must learn as a leader.. How to resolve conflicts well Conflicts are a common sight in most organizations.. While it’s never pleasant to have conflicts, but sometimes it happens where people have misunderstandings or differing opinions; learn how you can manage conflicts well
Among many benefits, communicating well helps you form closer relationships, bring cohesion to teams and take on leadership roles.
Great communication involves both speaking and listening, or expressing and receiving.. Just as you speak and impart information, you should listen in turn for feedback as the recipient digests the information.. Great communicators enjoy more fulfilling relationships and connect faster with others on many levels.. In most professions, effective verbal communication is essential and strong written communication skills may be needed as well.. Crucially, employees who consistently display strong communication skills make a stronger case for leadership positions at work.. Clear and evocative communication in branding can also drive business success.. People want to buy from brands that know how to communicate effectively.. Organisations that encourage honest, thoughtful and open communication create a place where people want to work.. Here’s what good communication skills can bring if you are in a leadership position, whether within or outside your organisation.. As a leader you need to think clearly and express ideas and information with various audiences.
Why is communication so important in the workplace? Learn how effective communication at work boosts employee morale, engagement, productivity, and more.
Communication, communication, communication.. We’re here to show you why communication is important in the workplace and how to start building your and your team’s communication skills today.. Effective meetings build synergy between teams and quickly communicate information that would have a high potential to be misunderstood in another format (like email).. Better communication results in greater employee engagement , which is a key metric for employee productivity and potential retention.. Why are you communicating?. Don’t make them work too hard to understand what you are saying and what you need them to do.. State your objective and main point from the beginning of a presentation or written communication so that your audience knows where you’re going.. What one area or skill should I work on to improve how I communicate in this organization?. Communicating well is even more important for leaders and managers during remote work .. You don’t have to spend a lot of time checking in with people and asking about their personal lives.
Leadership communication is an art. All great leaders are great communicators because that’s how you inspire and influence people to support your cause.
If you want to motivate your employees, increase your sales, and grow your business, follow this advice on ways to improve your public speaking skills.. When you’re a strong leader, you can take people where they want to go, even if they don’t necessarily want to go where they should.. How can you inspire them to close deals, to improve their skills, and understand why selling your products is so important?. As a communicator, as a leader, your energy has to be high.. Your energy always has to be high to motivate yourself, your employees, and your prospects.. You need to be at a ten, because if you aren’t confident in yourself, your company, and your product, how can you sell to your customers?
You need to write an email explaining to the client why the order got delayed You need to talk to a team member who’s been late to work frequently You just got promoted and now have a team to…
WHAT IS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?. REASONS WHY EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT:It builds and maintains relationships Effective communication brings together all members in your team and organization to achieve the desired outcomes.. It helps build the team as an effective unit An effective team is built in an environment where open communication is encouraged.. When the management of a company communicates effectively with their employees and values the work done by them, employees feel pleased and work as an incentive to bring out their best.. It increases accountability and brings clarity in work flow Effective communication gives employees clear and specific instructions which enables them to do what is expected of them.. To strengthen communication in your team effective communication is essential.. With effective communication every person gets a chance to communicate their points this helps the team to make better decisions for the growth of the organization.. Effective communication improves customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction depends wholly on quality of communication.. Effective communication creates trust and encourages continued engagement and provides effective solutions.. Whether it is the spouse or a team member, effective communication can be a life saver for relationships.. Effective communication also empowers employees, and brings everyone in the organization to achieve goals.