The art of communication is the language of leadership.
We think we’re good communicators, we think our message is understood; we’re often wrong.
Levels of understanding differ and it’s up to us as leaders to assess each situation. We need to adapt to differing styles and we need to remember that communication is not a one way exchange. Most importantly, we need to remember to communicate with others in THEIR language.
Things to consider:
- What level of detail is desired?
- Should the “bottom line” message come first with supporting details to follow?
- Avoid getting too “wordy”
- Ensure your message is organized and your grammar correct; plan, prepare, practice!
- Don’t race through your message; be aware of the speed in which you’re speaking
- If it’s a complex message, break it down into smaller bullet points or sub messages
- Allow time for your message to be processed
- If there will be impacts, share what they will be
- Are there any takeaways or expectations? Request they be repeated backEveryone has a story about communication gone wrong – the delivery was well intended but somehow the message was garbled. (This happens both professionally and personally). If you are the sender, ask the receiver to share what they heard, and ask for their perceptions. If you’re the receiver, and especially when the message seems off, ask for clarity. Perceptions left un-discussed can haunt us.
Do you ensure your messages are accurately interpreted?
To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.