by Tony Richards
How a leader communicates is important, but also what they are saying is a an important component.
You may have a lot of potential in your current position, and you may have all the signs of having the ability to be promoted, but as an up-and-comer, if you lack leadership language content, you are not going to make it into key leadership positions.
It doesn’t matter if you deserve a promotion, you’ll get passed over, unless you can talk the talk, you’ll never get the chance to walk the walk. You need results and a high level of communication compentency.
The important thing to balance is to leave a strong impression while striving to not be too dominant or chatty and at the same time, don’t be a “person of few words”.
Here are some specific things to focus on:
1. Knowing the key issues the organization is facing. You need to continually stay on and refer to these big issues, do not get distracted or off-track.
2. You should echo the mission, vision and values of the organization. This is what strong leaders do. Always re-read them, do not allow them to get fuzzy to you because they are fuzzy to everyone else.
3. Always make references to where the organization is going, how it will get there and what people need to be doing to accomplish it.
4. Always build and develop a bond of trust. You must always be asking questions, using empathy skills and being an active listener.
5. Keep facilitating communication among others. Most people around you do not know who to talk to, they talk with their favorites, not the best person to handle whatever issue they may be having.
6. Always let people know why you care and what really matters to you. Your inspiration and enthusiasm is contagious. You can get others as excited as you are about the work the organization is doing.
7. Always talk in concrete terms, not in abstract thoughts. Talk specifics, not intangibles. Talk specific metrics and desired results. People need clarity.
You can’t become a leader who influences people without these communication focus points. These skills can be learned, they are not just automatically in leaders, they take focus and practice to release the leader you have inside you.