There is nothing worse than talking to someone and you walk away not knowing what they really said or meant. It is tough listening to someone who is just not clear in their communication.
Leaders however must be noted by their clarity of communication.
If you hang out with a great leader you see they communicate with confidence and with clear direct words. But how do you develop this?
I have asked leaders and studied them and it seems that they do or are the following:
Competent in their field – The reason a leader can be clear in their communication is that they know what they are talking about. They have had years in their field and they have thought deeply about what it means to be successful in their field. So when they speak they have a wealth of knowledge backing up their words which in turn makes their communication are clear and direct.
They are prepared – Leaders are over prepared and this helps them to clearly communicate what they want. They have prepared what they want to say, how they want to say and why they want to say it. I once sat down with an ex CEO of a multibillion dollar company and asked him about communication and he said that before every meeting whether it be a phone meeting, board meeting or just a meeting over a beer he would write down on a piece of paper what he wants to say and he would rehearse how he wanted to say it so that the best outcomes would be brought about. It is no fluke then that he was a brilliant communicator and leader. As leaders we should be striving for this kind of preparation.
They are direct – Leaders never want to leave the people they lead thinking “What was I meant to do?” So they are very direct in communicating what they want and what is best for the organisation they lead. This directness takes time to prepare but when they are prepared, leaders are direct in their speech.
They have energy – When they communicate leaders have an energy that is infectious. They use words which have energy built into them. They use phrases which push forward in a loving way. They have artful turns of phrase that inspire, energize and encourage. Do you, as a leader, use your words to inspire, energize and build up?
They love their people- as we have seen in the last post leaders love their people. This love helps the leader shape the way they communicate to each person they talk with.
Leaders communicate in a way that inspires the people they love. They are direct and clear because they are prepared and competent in their field.