Effective communication in leadership will propel your department, business, sports team, organization, civic group, or family to the next level—that comes with a money-back guarantee!
For the past few blog posts, we’ve been discussing communication in leadership, but let’s face it, not all communication is created equally. Unless your communication is effective, you’re just spinning your wheels.
The result of effective communication in leadership is a group of individuals successfully working together in the direction of a common goal or vision. Every individual is clear about what is expected of them, and they feel as if they are treated with respect. Wow… tall order, right? I want to work on that utopian team!
Well, even though that is an extreme example of the result of effective communication in leadership, there are definitely ornaments we can pluck off of that fabulously decorated Christmas tree that you can borrow to start decorating for yourself. After all, a good analogy is that the concept of effective communication in leadership is simply a framework. Once you place the elements of effective communication onto a solid framework, that’s when the magic happens.
We’ve already started the conversation about a few of these elements (or ornaments!)—remember, alignment is one of our foundational cornerstones, but it’s also an important element of effective communication. Working toward alignment will help whoever receives communication from you to understand what is expected of them. So, starting today, envision what you’re truly trying to achieve with your communication. Think about how what you say will either help or hinder your effort to align the receiver’s understanding with your vision Then, craft your message with that in mind.
Here’s the delightful, cascading effect that happens when you start this process: you and those whom you lead will start to interact differently. You’ll start to see positive changes in how you communicate with each other as well as with you customers, clients, or the audience you serve. Working toward alignment has the effect of a snowball rolling downhill—it picks up more snow as it goes. You’ll start to see communication improve in all aspects of your life.
Here it is again—our old friend, consistency. In fact, I contend that consistency is so important to effective communication in leadership that I’m adding it as the third foundational cornerstone.
Let me tell a story to reinforce the importance of consistency. Long ago, when I was frustrated about a member of my team not understanding part of a project, a mentor of mine asked me, “How many times do you tell your children to look both ways before they cross the street?” After thinking about it for a minute, I answered, “Ahhh… until they learn to look both ways before they cross the street?” Haha… yes. Be consistent in your messaging as well as in your tone of delivery. Eventually consistency wins the race.
Intentional communication, the goal of seeking alignment, and consistency are our first three foundational cornerstones. On these, we’ll begin to build a solid structure of effective communication in your leadership. Next time, we’ll take a look at our fourth cornerstone. I’d love your feedback on this series on communication. Please feel free to reach out. Until next time, be well and be of good cheer.