As a leader, communication can help you rise to success, or it can lead to your downfall.
It is not just about the words being spoken, nor is it just about how the words are being delivered.
With origins from the Latin word ‘communis’, meaning common, communality or sharing, communication is about the objective you are targeting, how you share it and the purpose you activate within your stakeholders.
It is a trait inherent in all great leaders, and though some may be born with the natural ability to influence, inform, persuade and motivate people, it is also a skill which can be consistently exercised and fine-tuned. You could learn to use communication to your advantage and enhance all your activities, responsibilities and relationships within your role as a leader, enabling you to:
Articulate your vision and the company mission
Capture and retain stakeholder attention
Facilitate trust and behavioural change
Nurture relationships and people
Maximise performance and productivity
Discover and encourage innovation and new perspectives
Influence emotion to motivate action
Failure to effectively and consciously communicate your objectives, goals, standards, strategy, expectations, industry requirements and feedback essentially disempowers your capabilities and may lead to an overall breakdown.
Our 5 S’s to communication can guide you on how to optimise the skill and develop as a leader:
Clarity, in your message, intent and delivery style, avoids confusion and allows you to efficiently convey your objective. We retain information when it is clear, when we understand the need at hand and the benefit linked to it.
Less is more. Being straightforward will help you stay clear from unnecessary repetition and allow you to communicate with direction. Everything you say and convey should resonate with impact and provide value.
If you’re not confident in your message, why should anyone else be? From your body language, use of eye contact and tone of voice, to the intent and passion behind your words, being self-assured enhances communication. It will help you build trust and rapport, and your employees will believe in you.
While confidence is key, it must be balanced with sincerity. If your employees or other stakeholders don’t find you credible ,it will be difficult for them trust you and the reach of your message will be hindered.
In order to motivate or persuade an audience, you must compel them to not only listen to your message, but also do something as a result of hearing it. Communication that leads to action is effective and maximises interactions with your stakeholders.
Make communication work for you by the following and implementing these tips. Keeping them in mind will help you be the best leader you can be.