R6 Siege:
Communication in Leadership

Learn how real leaders communicate with Rainbow Six Siege team!

"When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.

- Stephen R. Covey

Introduction:
communication
in Leadership

It is possible that you have read “Effective communication” and thought immediately that you’re already good enough at communicating, so why bother.

You may think so because you’ve been communicating almost your entire life.

On average, by the time we hit 2nd year of our life, we already start combining 2 words.
A few years later, we develop powerful skills of reading and even writing. From that moment, we’re on and communicate every day, taking our abilities for granted.

As a result, most leaders do not take communication skills seriously.
However, just like with any other skill, we need to practice it and expand if we want to reach heights.
Furthermore, effectiveness in communication and leadership go hand-in-hand.
Communication is a critical tool for leadership function, especially when leading a team in a dynamic environment like Rainbow Six Siege.
Therefore, if you want to become a truly successful team leader, you have to harness the power of communication.

Poor habits in communication style will get exposed, rather sooner than later. You will be in tense situations, and emotions will rise due to the competitive nature of the game.

On top of that, in-game communication will be rapid and brief, which in turn may display any lack of clear thinking and decisiveness.
Thus, developing good habits in communication is crucial for an R6 leader. Especially for one who takes his role seriously and wants to achieve success.

Understand: You may think that communication is not as important as other skills you dedicate yourself to as a leader of your R6 team.
But in reality, your ability to communicate well with your team will be a major factor in how good you and your team perform.
 
The basics of communicating in R6 Siege have been described in detail in a separate article on our site Communication guide.
In this guide, we will focus on building the right mindset and habits in regards to communicating with your team as a leader.
 
Now let’s get down to it, shall we?

Leadership:
Communication
Goals

Before we jump into the juicy stuff, let’s discuss the base – our objectives in communication.

Try to bear the below goals in mind. If you do and compliment them with good habits, then your success as a leader of the R6 Siege team is just a matter of time.

I will split our communication goals into the short and long term.

Short Term Goals

INFORM

You want your message to be understood. To achieve this goal you need to communicate with clarity.

Don’t be vague and imprecise in what you’re saying.
Also, avoid assumptions – from both your and recipients’ end.

 

UNDERSTAND

Ensuring mutual understanding on the matter is crucial to your success. You need to understand the view of your team members and how they feel about the topic at hand.

Often, you will have to read between the lines. To hear what is not being said.

Additionally, understanding team members from a personality perspective will allow you to approach them in an appropriate way.

ESTABLISH THE RIGHT CONTEXT

Context drives meaning. People tend to think that facts and numbers are what matters, that they are all you need to communicate effectively.

Reality is different. To make information effective, you need to first establish context. Only then you should present facts.

Example:

Fact – Your teammate dies too early during attacking rounds.
Establishing context: Your team is not winning on the attack as reliably as you would like to. You noticed that early manpower disadvantage hinders your progress.
Do you see how bringing up fact only after creating such a context will change how the message may sounds and its effectiveness?

Long Term Goals

BUILDING TRUST

You want to achieve mutual trust between teammates, as well as gain their trust as a leader. Trust means relying on each other. It also means that each team member believes that every decision made has the best interest of a team, and their own, as the primary objective.

Building trust is not easy as it requires consistency, which is a result of personal integrity, especially of a leader.

But once you have trust within your team, everything becomes easier to achieve.

Remember: Trust is not being liked. Trust is consistent behavior and intention, perceived as such by team members (not only yourself).

 
 
 
 

OPEN CULTURE

Such a culture is essential to your progress as a leader and as a team. Open culture means that every team member feels able to express their opinion.

Of course, it does not mean that you have to always agree with their opinion.

The feeling comes from opinions being listened to and respected. You have to welcome teammates’ feedback, both negative and positive.

Ask people for their opinion and make them feel like they are part of the decision-making process. These are great tools for fostering an open culture!

Please bear in mind that the style in which you communicate in-game and outside of the match will certainly differ.
Communication that occurs in the middle of the round will focus on the informative aspect.

Adjustments done between the rounds will concentrate on information exchange & mutual understanding.
What is important to note, however, is that the work you put in your communication outside of the match (high trust level), will directly translate into quality and cohesion as a unit during the game.

It’s those moments when tensions and stress are high that you benefit from trust the most. When shit hits the fan, you can prevail as a team, stick together rather than apart.

Qualities for
effective communication

To be truly effective in communication outside of the match, we need to approach a conversation with 3 important qualities in mind:
 
 

INTENTION

Start every communication with understanding your intention.
Know what are you doing and why are you doing it.
Give your full attention to the person and to the conversation.


FOCUS

Make sure you don’t get distracted by other thoughts and activities. Listen to people.

Example: if you are talking with somebody, pay attention to them, to what they say, don’t think about your dinner or read an article.


CURIOSITY

Be simply curious about what the other person thinks or feels about the subject at hand.
If your curiosity shifts from yourself to your conversation partner, then you are on the way to become a good listener.

HOW-TO
COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

You know you have excellent communication skills when people understand your points, feel good when speaking to you, and can act according to the discussion.

Such an effect is a result of a long process of building the right attitude towards communication and the leadership role.

 
habits to be made-min

Many people may misunderstand communicating effectively by talking a lot. Although it may seem that charisma and leadership skills are correlated to speaking much, that is not the case.

As Plato said: “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
So let’s all make sure we’ve got something worthy to say and are not fools, especially not the loud ones.

Of course, every person has a different style of communication in Rainbow Six Siege.
Your own style will depend on your character, personal background, as well as team members and dynamics within your team.

I do not intend to tell you exactly how to talk to your R6 Siege teammates to be effective. Instead, I would like to highlight a few habits I suggest to develop in the way you think about communication with the team.

Those habits are…

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION HABITS

CLARITY
To be an effective leader of the R6 Siege team, you need to have a communication style that is simple and clear for your teammates.
Lack of clarity results in misunderstandings between people, as well as poor execution of the plan.

Simply put: if you cannot be understood, how can you be followed?
 
TIPS FOR CLARITY:
  • Know your message
  • Stay on point
  • Don't beat around the bush
  • Avoid Assumptions
  • Be Precise
Before the conversation, ask yourself the following questions:
- "What are the key points of my message?"
- "What would I like my teammates to do?"
If you cannot answer those questions, then you have to re-think your message. You cannot communicate clearly if you are not thinking clearly!
During conversations, make sure that you stay on the message.
Try to avoid mixing topics and jumping from one point to another. Instead, discuss the matter until a consensus is reached.
Let's be honest: nobody likes to listen to a stretched message that is overly indirect.
Get to the point and be direct when possible.
 
What's your impression of a person who avoids being specific and assertive?
I usually suspect dishonesty and lack of confidence. And those are not the traits people admire in a leader.
When reviewing tactics with your team members, ensure that the task and goal are clearly stated. Do not leave room for assumptions or misunderstandings.

Assuring everyone understands their roles and responsibilities is especially crucial for practices and out-of-game communication.
In-game communication during the Rainbow Six Siege match has to be brief. In highly dynamic and tense situations, you simply won't have the time for extended dialogues. Therefore, working on such an understanding before the match is essential!
Not being vague in your communication with the team is especially crucial for in-game communication in Siege.
Decisions during the R6 match are made on the fly and in tense situations. In such a scenario, people should be able to understand communication immediately, with little effort needed.
 
Understand: We do not have limitless resources of attention, and you want your team to be able to focus on their actions, not on the interpretation of your message!
AUTHENTICITY

Be yourself in communication and, most importantly, be sincere and honest.
People respect, want, and follow real. Conversely, they will be able to tell right away if you are not authentic.

Just like transparency, authenticity in your communication is a foundation of trust.

One of the most significant benefits of being authentic is that even though people may not always agree or support your idea, they are more likely to respect and like an authentic leader than someone who acts fake and dishonestly.
Such goodwill will lead to cohesive actions and retaining commitment within the team.

TRANSPARENCY

Transparent communication means sharing information with your team on the logic and reasons behind the choices you make.

Of course, you do not have to share every single little detail. But do make sure that significant decisions, such as role swaps, new tactics choices, or roster changes, are explained to your team.

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Being open with your team builds trust – the most crucial aspect of successful leadership in R6 Siege.
As a result of such a communication trait, your team will have an easier time staying positive and not taking things personally – not every choice you will make everyone happy.

Remember: Being open prevents escalation of any potential tensions and helps you establish mutual understanding. Transparent communication ensures others don’t feel like you have a hidden agenda.

Example:
You’ve created a new tactic for holding an objective, for which you’ve assigned your usual roamer to anchor on a specific operator – she may not be particularly happy or comfortable with that course of action.
Explain to impacted teammate why you gave her such a role and how the team will benefit from it.

PERSONALIZEd

To become an effective leader of the Rainbow Six Siege team, you will have to learn reading people and getting to know them on a personal level.
Unfortunately, in E-sports (and in gaming in general), it is not the easiest thing to do considering the potential distance between people and the lack of face-to-face interactions.
Despite such an obstacle, try to get to know your mates. Have 1on1 chats regarding topics unrelated to R6 Siege.

Once you learn about them, try to approach topics as they would.
You want to remain authentic in the way you speak, but you should adjust how you convey your message and style to your recipients.

Understand: Everyone is different. What is clear and works for one person will not necessarily do so for others.
Listening

The most basic needs of every human being are to feel important and understood.
And what is the most fundamental action a person can perform to fulfill both those needs? Yes, sir. Listen!

Think about it this way:
– If you do not listen to others, why would you expect them to listen to you?
– Is your message more important than theirs? Is your opinion more relevant?

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We actually tend to believe so, even though we do not realize it or admit it out loud.
As an experiment, try to listen and understand the other person first, only then try to share your message and opinion. You will be amazed by the effect such simple change in your communication will have on your interactions in Siege!

As Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Don’t be like the majority of people!

RESPECT

Be respectful to your teammates at any time, all the time. Whether people are present or not, don’t be disrespectful towards them.
Remember that just because you are a leader of your team, you are not better than any other member of the group.

A great sentence on this subject comes from Aaron Goldman: “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.”

 

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Yelling
  • Belittling
  • Gossiping
Don't scream at people for their mistakes. Intimidating others won't bring you respect and trust.
The only attitude yelling may bring is false obedience that collapses as soon as you are vulnerable.
Don't underestimate or disregard the opinion and skills of other people, especially openly in front of others. Always let the other person save their face publicly.
Besides being simply mean, belittling your teammates will backfire as they certainly won't listen and follow your advises or decisions. Because why would they?
The habit of gossiping is tempting, I know. Almost everyone I talked with about it agrees that gossip is wrong and condemns those who gossip, but... most of us enjoy talking behind people's back.

Of course, not every gossip is malicious. But as a rule, do not complain about teammates to other team members.
If I talk behind our teammate’s back to you, how do you know I won't talk behind yours as well?

I heard once an excellent saying on this subject: To respect those who are present, we have to respect those who are absent.

SUMMARY:

  • Communication is an important tool of a leader
  • Practice effective communication as frequently as possible
  • Remember your team goals when communicating
  • Build trust within your team and everything else will be easier
  • Give and get feedback openly. Do it as frequently as possible
  • Pay attention to what teammates say
  • Be curious about them and use empathy
  • Know what you want to say and speak clearly
  • Be yourself when communicating with your team
  • Be honest and open – don’t create hidden agendas
  • Speak to people like you would like them to speak to you
  • Personalize your message depending on teammates
  • Ask questions & listen more than you talk
  • Be respectful and don’t gossip behind people’s back

Continue your journey to
Leadership Mastery in Siege

Get the fundamentals right and be truly effective in the leadership of the R6 Siege team!

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