The Importance of Communication Skills for Student Leaders

By Andrea Melgar, Account Executive

At some point during your 4 (maybe 5) years of college, you’ll most likely find yourself in a leadership position. Whether that be in your student organization, sorority, fraternity etc., simply thinking about a leadership position can be intimidating. Being nervous is common when it comes to obtaining a position of power, but mastering your communication skills can be huge determining factor between excelling or failing.

Communication skills play a huge role in our day to day lives, but when it comes to leadership it really can help us “make it or break it.” As a student leader I have found that there are 5 skills in particular that have really made a positive impact in my experience.

  1. Listen

Communication is a two way street. Not only must your team listen to you, but you too must listen to your team members. Listening is not only a sign of respect, but it also helps build positive relationships while creating an efficient working environment.

  1. Delegate

Use your team members and delegate tasks. No one is expecting you to do everything yourself. Sure it may be more comfortable to only depend on yourself to get the job done, but in the end you’re really only hurting yourself. Don’t add on more stress, and don’t take away a valuable learning experience from your team members. A good leader takes advantage of their resources, and when working on a team it’s members are one of the most valuable resources.

  1. Be open minded

Though it is important to be organized and plan everything out, being open minded can make a huge difference when something may not go as planned. Being open minded can also help encourage your team to speak up and collaborate on ideas. Some of the best ideas my teams have come up with were attributed to team brainstorming sessions.

  1. Be respectful

If you show respect your team will respect you as well. Also, when conducting meetings make sure to respect your team’s time. We all have so much going on in college, so try to not waste time by being unproductive.

  1. Be CONFIDENT

Fake it till you make it, and don’t let your nerves get the best of you! Confidence shows that you know what you’re doing, and it will lead to others trusting you. When in doubt show confidence- make eye contact, show good posture, dress to impress. Always remember you got to your position for a reason, and now it’s your time to shine!

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