As leaders shouldn’t we all want to learn to communicate more effectively? Communication is a key part of success at work and in every other area of your life. The more effective you can be communicating your message the greater opportunity you have to succeed at just about anything you want. Top leaders have practiced and mastered the skills that enable them to communicate for maximum impact. You might think its talent and for some it is, but YOU can learn these same skills!
Follow these strategies to consistently build your communication skills:
- Learn to listen. Top leaders know that listening is a crucial part of communication. Learn to love listening and engage in the stories of others.
- Try to focus on being present and in the moment during a conversation instead of being distracted by your phone or other device. Have one conversation at a time to give each person your full attention.
- Practice retelling the person’s story in your mind to get better at listening.
- Everyone wants to be heard. Others will notice when you’re listening to them and will leave your conversations thinking what a great communicator you are, when all you did was listen.
- Avoid slang and informalities. It’s normal to use slang or other types of informal language while talking to friends or family. However, business usually requires a more formal language set. Pay attention to who you’re talking to and make the necessary adjustments.
- Slang, acronyms, and informalities can also make some people feel uncomfortable, especially if they’re not familiar with them.
- As we work from home these days it’s easy to slip up and lose focus on our communications. It’s actually MORE important that you focus on what and how you want to communicate.
- Focus on being brief. Top leaders know that you don’t have to make a long speech to be effective.
- Practice being brief and getting your point across with fewer words and less time. People appreciate brief conversations and respect others who don’t go off on tangents.
- However, ensure you’re still providing enough information while you talk. You don’t want to be vague or miss important details.
- This skill may take time to develop, so practice it often. The next time you have a conversation, try to get your point across with less talking. Try to summarize the important parts and only focus on them while you talk.
- Be sure to clarify and check that your message has been received and understood.
- Pay attention to other’s emotions. When you talk, take note of how the other person is reacting. Words are powerful, and communication can affect people in many different ways.
- You may want to learn psychology to understand emotions better. DISC is a great tool to use to learn about the different types of people you will be communicating with.
- Show sympathy and empathy when it’s appropriate during a conversation.
- Look at things from the other person’s point of view without criticism or judgment.
- Be charismatic. Communication is easier for charismatic people, but you can learn this skill.
- One of the most important aspects of charisma is confidence, but not arrogance or self-righteousness. Confident communicators know their value and worth, but they’re also respectful of others.
- Another facet of charisma is optimism, and it’s also a big part of communication. Even if you’re having a difficult conversation, focus on something positive. Top leaders are good at finding the silver lining.
- Charismatic communicators are interesting, but they also share interesting information with others.They focus on innovation and new ideas that give people a spark.
You can learn to communicate more effectively by following these tips from top leaders. Practice these skills as often as possible. You’ll have many opportunities each day. Every time you have a conversation with anyone its an opportunity to practice a little more. And as you know, practice makes perfect!
Here's to becoming a better, more effective leader!