“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”– George Bernard Shaw
Have you ever discussed something intended to be formal and set direction to your team or colleagues only to learn that no one can remember what you said or where they need to go? Unfortunately, this occurs many times when I talk or write.
It’s impossible to be an effective leader without learning how to be an effective communicator. I have learned that those who can communicate become the most influential leaders.
The good thing is we can all grow in our communication capabilities.
Here are seven (7) standards for effective communication. These standards are realistically practical both in personal and professional communication.
1. Understand who you’re talking to – know who you are talking to, their concerns or interests, and what approach will result in effective communication.
CONSIDER: Who am I talking to, and what do they need or want to know?
2. Be Clear and Concise in Your Message – Be crystal clear and concise about your message. Everything you say or write should support your message.
CONSIDER: What is it that I need to communicate?
3. Be Sure You Know What You Want To Accomplish Out of Your Conversation – When you speak or write, know what results you want to accomplish. If you don’t know what you want, they probably won’t either. If you don’t say it, you can’t expect them to guess accurately.
CONSIDER: What is the single most crucial outcome needed to accomplish with this message?
4. Actively Listen – Active listening keeps you engaged with your conversation positively. Active listening is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrases, and even reflecting on what is said without holding judgment and advice. When you practice active listening, you make the other person feel valued. Thus, active listening is the foundation for any successful conversation.
CONSIDER: Do I understand what they are saying and why?
5. Cultivate Your Confidence. – Confidence is a combination of belief, ability, action, and humility. Suppose you believe in yourself – practice. If you lack the ability – ask for help. If you lack action – create accountability. If you lack humility–realize you don’t know what you don’t know.
CONSIDER: Which is my most important area of growth right now: belief, ability, action, or humility?
6. Have A Clear and Concise Outcome Expectation – What do you want a listener or reader to do with what you’ve said? Tell them. People are more likely to act when you’ve made the right action obvious.
CONSIDER: What response do I want from this audience?
7. Communicate Often – They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But most of the time, people forget. Repeat important messages regularly. Don’t assume you only have to say something once.
CONSIDER: What different methods or approaches can I use to repeat or reinforce my message?
Great communicators choose their words well, understand their audience, and connect with them at the right time and place. By applying these tips and practicing, you can master the skills and learn to be an effective communicator.
By following these 7 standards you will become a Great Communicator!
Denis is an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group, is a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior, Consultant. Denis is currently the Director of Health & Safety for Ferguson Enterprises. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical and relevant influencing techniques. His unique, passionate, and emotionally driven style resonates with many who desire to become influential leaders.
You can contact Denis at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture training, DISC Behavioral consulting, or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.