Good leaders must possess the ability to effectively communicate to superiors, subordinates, and peers. Responsive leaders must not only be able to communicate effectively, they must be able to communicate in a timely manner with clear purpose and intent.
A leader must possess the ability to communicate and he must be tuned in to the rhythm of the organization – its needs, its direction, and its weaknesses. This type of leader intuitively has a keen sense of timing and understanding of the current situation within the organization and its particular dynamics, which gives him the awareness to know exactly what to do and when to do it for the benefit of the organization.
Responsiveness implies alertness, timeliness, and preparedness to accomplish the mission. People need information from leaders to do their jobs and to accomplish the mission. A responsive leader provides accurate feedback to assist others in getting their jobs done and people rely on this feedback to ensure that they are meeting his intent. Feedback from this type of leader is extremely important.
Most leaders will prioritize who they will respond to and how fast a response they will provide. Everyone is not equal – your boss or your customer may be the top priority for you, however, other leaders may have different stakeholders who are their top priorities – it really depends on what field you are in. A suggested order of priority could be: your boss’s boss and/or the staff from your higher-level organization, your immediate boss, your peers and/or co-workers, your subordinates, and finally your customers. In organizations where the customer is the most important stakeholder, responsive leaders may reverse the order of priority so that the customer is the number one priority.
A responsive leader is like a master facilitator - he is aware of the entire organizational spectrum and knows exactly where he can best utilize his skills and talents to move a project along. Responsive leaders understand the need to communicate - by talking, discussing, and acting to keep projects moving and progressing – the best way to do that is to maintain an attitude of responsiveness.
Why you need to be responsive leader:
- Responsive leaders are viewed as more efficient and on top of their games;
- Responsive leaders understand who they are responsible to for completing their tasks;
- Responsive leaders are quick to react – they are active and acutely sensitive to the needs of others, especially stakeholders and key constituents.