The way you communicate as a leader can have a huge impact. Communication is at the heart of everything you do: how you engage clients; how you engage employees; how you engage peers; and how you engage with your manager.
All leaders have an unique voice. The confidence and influence of how you show up as a leader is directly related to how you communicate. How do you tell your story? How do you get people to follow you? How do you communicate your overall expression of who you are as a leader?
Below are 4 ways to instantly “crash and burn” the impact of your communication. Put the brakes on now, if you tend to want to use any of these “train-wrecks”:
shoUT…sHOUT…SHOUT IT OUT!
It has been a long misunderstood notion that “louder is better.” I WILL SPEAK LOUDER SO YOU WILL UNDERSTAND ME. Teachers in school used to use this technique as well and it rarely got them anywhere. Now we know that a quieter, more subtle approach to get the attention of people is much more effective. Shouting is a form of intimidation. And if you need to intimidate, then you are a very small leader indeed. You do not have to rely on intimidation to motivate people to influence what you want. Rely instead on your quiet confidence which communicates that you are someone who is in charge-without the need to raise your voice.
INTERRUPTING IS DISRUPTING!
Say what? Leaders have a lot to say, but there will be plenty of time to say what you need to, after the other person has finished. Trying to interrupt and get the last word demonstrates that you lead with your ego and thus, that you think your opinion is the ONLY opinion. Exude quiet confidence by listening well, rephrasing what the person said, and responding to it.
BUT IT IS ALL ABOUT ME!
No its not. Leaders who have a continual need to “one-up” others and make the conversation “all about me,” demonstrate a lack of respect and actually shows a lack of confidence on the part of the leader. Grounded and successful leaders do not have to always talk about their accomplishments. Your accomplishments can speak for themselves…they don’t need your voice. Because of your role, leaders are always at the center of attention, so try to shift the focus away from yourself to shine the light on someone else who is deserving.
SCRATCH THE YACKETY-YAK!
Blah, blah, blah. Many leaders just like to hear themselves talk. Have a purpose in everything you say. Speaking just to fill the air or to show your leadership prowess is not a good enough reason. Have a direction, with a purpose and outcome, and be deliberate in your communication. You can capture the attention of more people in your organization by making your talk of fewer words, but by using significant statements and relevance to what you want to say. Don’t blow hot air.
Speaking and communicating well is not all about your voice. It is about the relationships you foster with your clients and team. It is about the connections you make with people and the relevance of your message. It is about the way you carry yourself, the non-verbal language. It involves communicating your vision that you create for your organization and influencing others to come along on the journey.
Quality leadership involves doing a lot of things right: Creating strategy, engaging people, communication with impact, and communications skills, and leadership ability. And all of these must work together as one. The day we realize they work together in one mainstream approach is the day we can start to move forward toward success as a leader.
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