5 communication styles used by successful leaders
As a leader, your job entails bringing people alongside you, negotiating challenging situations and clearly expressing yourself. These skills can take a long time to perfect, especially clear communication. Over the years, I've picked up lots of handy hints that have helped me to communicate more effectively as a leader.
I'd like to share a few of the more useful tips I've learnt:
1. Begin with 'why' to persuade
When presenting an important decision to your team, they make an instinctive judgment call on whether it's good or bad in a single second. I've discovered if you choose to lead with the reasons that prompted your decision, you take your audience on a journey, with your response serving as the rational conclusion.
2. To win hearts and minds, demonstrate vulnerability first, followed by vision
Vulnerability and vision form a powerful duo. Vulnerability can foster a sense of belonging, and your vision can provide direction for the team. This is key, as people need clarity.
3. Tell a story to engage your listeners
Stories are effective as they can elicit emotional experiences in a way that dry facts can't. Storytelling has become an integral component of the leader's toolkit. I've found that a good story doesn't have to be long; it simply requires a little build-up and a problem that people identify with.
4. To empower, seek consent
In my experience, there is a basic yet highly effective approach to convincing others to agree with you. Simply ask their permission.
· May I interrupt you if we deviate from our original plan?
· Is it okay with you if I offer some feedback?
· Do you give me permission to change the scope?
5. If you want to listen, be the last to talk
Leaders are typically inventive and highly creative. However, exploiting your position to propose your ideas first can deprive your team of the opportunity to present their thoughts. You'll do yourself an enormous favour and get the chance to recognise your team's skills by listening to their perspectives and recommendations.
TAKEAWAY: Communication entails much more than 'choosing the right words'. It involves knowing your target audience, listening attentively, empathising with others and sharing authentically.