Take a moment to envision the leader who has most inspired you. Rather than picturing a person holed up in an executive office, meeting with board members or talking with his or her inner circle, most of us visualize a leader who models the values and culture they seek to create. These visible leaders reach out to employees and build TRUST by seeking ways to:
- Tailor messages using stories and illustrations that each employee understands.
- Reveal authenticity and conviction whether talking one-to-one or in a group.
- Use multi-channel messages – email, video, small group, town hall meetings, etc.
- Spend time in real dialogue and truly listen to other’s points of view.
- Tell their truth and offer constructive feedback, provide clarity and celebrate success.
What is the “real work” of a leader? Communication. Without clear and compelling key messages reinforcing their vision, strategy, priorities and values, leaders are not successful. All great leaders possess at least one key communication asset whether it be clarity, passion, simplicity, storytelling, authenticity, optimism, empathy, responsiveness, preparedness, presence, or charisma. And, most great leaders have two or more communication assets. Similar to great athletes, great leaders work to refine and enhance their “game.”
For ongoing success, leaders understand the criticality of:
- “Key Message(s).” Leaders understand what is most important. They distill messages into key ones they believe in and they repeat these messages over and over in a multitude of settings.
- “Listener’s Perspective.” Since listeners decide when and how to listen, they control communication. Failure to understand and adapt to different audiences and stakeholders puts leaders at risk.
- “Adaptive Mindset.” Situations change and great communicators recognize the impact of “strategic in the moment” messages during one-to-one, team and formal presentations.
- “Deliberate Practice.” Communication is an art. Even leaders thought to be “great communicators” continually work to improve their skills and most receive professional training and coaching to refine and enhance their effectiveness.
We encourage leaders to take advantage of building their own and their company’s communication assets. Remember, the most successful leaders use every opportunity to reinforce what is most important and symbolically bring ”life” to significant messages. They know how their stakeholders LISTEN and carefully prepare messages to encourage, describe, reinforce, influence, challenge and ask questions in ways that grow leaders and build great places to work. They COMMUNICATE WITH IMPACT!
For more suggestions, download the FREE article: The Communication Challenge: Employee Engagement.