Communication Skills for Leaders
One thing for sure is that almost every adult is a leader. One of the most challenging leadership challenges is the leading self. By far, self-leadership is one of the most demanding challenges that I face, and self-leadership issues complicate communication.
Communication is a crucial part of our work, business at home, and every other aspect of our life. Many top communicators in the world have mastered the techniques to communicate with themselves, their teams, and others.
There are some practical skills that I think are key to become a better communicator intentionally:
1. Learn to Listen- Simple as the statement is; it is tough to do. Sometimes we listen to be ready to respond. Other times we are distracted with devices or other thought processes. Everyone wants an opportunity to be heard. Listen with an intensity to retell the person's story.
2. Avoid informalities and jargon- In business, we have often heard the language of the people you are addressing. I do believe that you have to speak in terms that your audience can understand, but don't overcompensate with slang and phrases that are not familiar to your conversation and used inappropriately in an attempt to "fit in."
3. Be brief- talking at length does not make your words effective. I refer to a book that I have read repeatedly by Ron Hoff entitled, " Say It in Six." The book contains ideas and strategies to communicate your message effectively in six minutes or less.
4. Pay attention to others' emotions- As children, we had this little rhyme- " sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." As I got older, I learned that the statement is farthest from the truth. Words are powerful weapons of mass destruction and can affect people in many different ways. As leaders, we must show empathy and sympathy when it's appropriate during a conversation. We must see things from the other person's point of view without criticism or judgment.
5. Be optimistic- Optimism is charismatic and confident but not demonstrating arrogance or self-righteousness. A charismatic, confident communicator knows their value and worth. The confident communicator is respectful of others focusing on others, and give people hope.
I published this article on LinkedIn on 9/29/30. However, the reaction was powerful, so I wanted to post on the blog to share this message and content.