We live in an age where there are many different ways to communicate. Although this is a good thing, it can bring new challenges with how effective we are in our communication. And people who are in leadership positions should be especially aware of this, because their communication skills affects the success of their team. In his article, Jones Loflin provides three practical ways that leaders can improve their communication.
3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Communication as a Leader
By Jones Loflin
Innovative Yet Practical Solutions
“While you have more opportunities than ever to communicate your thoughts, making sure those thoughts are clearly received is more difficult than ever.”
When we have a resource in abundance, we tend to get sloppy in how we use that resource. Nowhere is that more evident than in our communication to others. The minute we have a thought and want to share it… we do!
Ironically, all this instantaneous communication is making it harder than ever to get someone to pay attention to what you’re saying, whether it’s face-to- face, on the phone, or in an electronic format. For leaders, the stakes are even higher, because any confusion created by poor communication results in a less engaged team member who limits the success of the entire team.
If you’re in a leadership or management position, and being crystal clear in both the content AND intent of your communication is important, start doing these three things:
Have a goal for every interaction.
If you ever had a public speaking class, you know that you write the speech differently depending on what you want the listener to think or do after the speech is over. Take that same approach with any message you send or conversation you have with someone on your team. Ask yourself:
This includes informal conversations because those are the ones that most frequently get leaders in trouble.
Choose an adjective or two to help frame your message.
Is this communication meant to be encouraging? Informational? Corrective? Persuasive? Choosing the adjective(s) can also help you determine the best format for the communication (i.e. text vs. phone call or email vs. face-to- face).
Ask “What are they thinking right now?” when your message has been delivered.
Take 15 seconds to evaluate the effectiveness of your communication to the other person. Replay the conversation in your head. Was the reaction of the other person the reaction you wanted? If the message was an email, reread it to see if you hit the mark with your intended goal for the communication. And if all else fails, ask them about the effectiveness of your message. Start with something simple like, “When we finished our conversation about ____________, what were you thinking?”
Just remember that while you may have all types of communication tools at your disposal, you may only have one chance to use the right one in the right way.
Jones Loflin is a global keynote speaker on innovative yet practical workplace challenges and opportunities specific to the critical needs in today’s marketplace. He is the author of several leadership books, including Always Growing and the award-winning Juggling Elephants. Jones is well-known for his solutions for individuals, groups and businesses dealing with leadership development, work-life satisfaction, and change.
For more information on booking keynote speaker, Jones Loflin, for one of your events, check out www.eaglestalent.com or call our office at 1.800.345.5607.