Communicating with Competence, Confidence and Conviction as a New Boss

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Communicating with Competence, Confidence and Conviction as a New Boss

Being elevated to the role of boss is more than a promotion and greater responsibility. It’s taking up the gauntlet to lead your team with competence, confidence and conviction. You have the knowledge, the skills, the training to be in charge - but how do you convey that to your team? You may wonder how to “sound” like the boss.

An important component of demonstrating these “three c’s” of strong executive traits lies in the way you communicate. Gone are the days when it matters little how you phrase things, address subordinates and make requests. A boss must be very thoughtful in the way s/he speaks to and with their employees.

Here are some tips for upping your communication skills upon stepping into the role of boss:

Be concise. It’s definitely appropriate to pare down your presentations and meetings to a more sleek format. Pack them full of information, direction and inspiration but do so while sparing them of unnecessary fluff. Such gatherings will be more impactful upon employees when you stay on point with substance.

Be direct. Assert your newfound power through your communications by coming directly to the point. Beating around the bush is a sign of weakness, demonstrating that you are uncertain, confused or hesitant. Directness doesn’t mean being rude, aggressive or abrasive; it simply means communicating from a place of conviction.

Use assertive language. Even though you’re new to the role, you have every right to take command. State what you want and need without couching your remarks in weak, wishy-washy language. Omit qualifiers, like “maybe” and passive tone (like “would succeed”) from your communications.

Make a personal connection. Effective leaders make an effort to connect to their team on a personal basis. Eliminate unnecessary, artificial barriers (like an enormous desk or podium) between your employees and yourself. Lead from the trenches, not from the hilltop. Making and establishing eye contact will go far toward gaining their attention and retention.

Avoid causing overwhelm. Break down larger concepts into manageable chunks for employees. In meetings and presentations, identify three key topics to talk about - that’s a very manageable, digestible amount of information for employees to absorb at a sitting.

Communicate your vision of the future. Use language to lead your employees beyond today and into the future of the company as you see it. The thoughtful, considered words of a leader can be extremely inspiring to those being lead.

Avoid dominating conversations. Communication is a two way street. Sometimes it’s better to listen than to speak. A good boss knows that s/he can gain intel by listening. This will make for a more effective leader in the long run. This is an important tactic to remember when communicating with your superiors as well.

Start from day one as the boss to speak, as well as act, with the authority of your position. As with any new skill, there’s likely to be a bit of “fake it till you make it” as you develop your own executive communication style. These tips will help you sound like the competent, confident, boss that you are.

How do you display competence, confidence and conviction as a new boss?

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