Learn how to communicate as a leader with the goal to engage, inspire, and influence rather than to inform, instruct, and impress. Learn about guidelines for leaders to communicate in more meaningful ways that create powerful experiences and boost team engagement.
- Maybe it started in business school or effective presentation training, but many leaders got the message to be credible they had to communicate in a formal, factual and polished way. Capturing that professional aura meant following the traditional guidelines and since leaders spend about 80% of their days communicating, they got plenty of practice. Needless to say, these structured communication patterns have become an ingrained habit for many leaders. Even though they no longer get the results they once did. So what changed? Well, for one thing, everyone today is inundated with information. The internet, social media, phone calls, streaming video. Like it or not, we have all been launched into a 24/7 hyper-communication mode. In the business setting, leaders are also barraged with data and they're expected to cascade it down to their teams. They want to thoroughly inform and instruct and in the name of efficiency, they likely throw in a healthy dose of acronyms and some industry jargon. Unfortunately, the net result is often a data overloaded and dry mess. Like drinking from a fire hose. And it's not effective. Leaders are left frustrated because their teams aren't responding to their extremely compounded messages. The fact is, the concept of delivering meaning has been lost in an effort to transfer information. More importantly, this formal, fact-heavy style of communication just doesn't resonate with today's employees. Particularly those in the younger generation. If leaders want to improve their communication, they have to break all the habits they spent significant time developing. Today's modern leaders are adopting an unconventional approach to communication that is changing the impact they have on their teams. Here are a few strategies that might help you take a page out of that new playbook. First, refocus your communication goals. Instead of trying to inform and instruct, think about connecting with your audience. Whether that's one person or an entire audience. You want them to feel like participants in a conversation, not just targets of your data download. Be clear about the outcome you want to produce then set out to engage, inspire, and influence. Second, use stories to bring your information to life. One of the best ways to help people understand and remember whatever you're sharing, is to weave it into a powerful story. Capture their imaginations. They might forget the data, but they'll remember an engaging story that drives home your key points. Create an experience that pulls them in. Third, get strategic about your delivery. As you plan for your communication, refine your messages to be simple, concise, and compelling. Pull out the most relevant points. Find ways to add layers of texture to that with vivid images, video, and music. Grab attention on a bigger sensory scale, so you can deliver meaning not just data. To upgrade your communication, commit to making a connection, becoming an expert storyteller and creating an experience. Although not typical of leadership communication, this approach can help you cut through the clutter and achieve greater results.
- Adopting the strategic pause
- Disrupting your thinking
- Balancing hard data with soft intelligence
- Reevaluating your to-do list
- Communicating to influence and engage
- Approaching challenges as a novice
- Blazing new trails
- Conquering the chaos
- Enduring leadership attributes