Elements Consulting

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Renewal Leadership: Am I an Effective Communicator?

Posted by elementsconsulting on May 5, 2016 at 11:30 AM

May 5, 2016

Am I am Effective Communicator?

 

Leaders are always striving to develop themselves personally and one of the skills most can work on is communication. It is essential that leaders work on communicating as effectively as they can. In order to understand your areas of strength and areas for growth please reflect on the following questions.

 

(1) Do I pause before responding?

(2) Am I truthful in my communication, even when it is difficult?

(3) Am I often rushing through a conversation because other priorities are weighing on me?

(4) When others are speaking am I present in the conversation or do I find that I often stop paying attention?

(5) Can I read and understand the non-verbal cues of those I am communicating?

(6) Do I find myself only responding to those points that I agree or disagree with instead of what is actually being said?

(7) When was the last time I asked for feedback from others?

 

Pause before responding. Leaders are often in a rush for something and whenever they try to communicate, they are usually trying to do so quickly. Pausing works wonders when it comes to communicating more effectively with others. Sometimes just that tiny break, giving you time to think, is just what you need to really understand what someone else has said or to formulate the thoughts you really want to convey.

Be trustworthy and honest. When leaders are trustworthy and honest, communication becomes a lot less complicated. In being honest they have to think about what they are going to say and don't have to worry about uncovering a secret or a dishonest statement.

Don't rush communication. When leaders are rushing and trying to get through their communication quickly that's when things can go wrong. Often when in a rush, things are forgotten or misplaced and the same goes for when rushing through any type of communication. So next time you find yourself communicating with someone else, slow down and really pay attention. Taking just a little extra time could end up making a huge difference.

Stay in the moment. When leaders devote their full attention to the person or people they are communicating with, they are more likely to have much better results. When individuals get distracted and stopped paying attention to the person they are communicating with, the communication quickly goes south. If you want to communicate your thoughts effectively, you have to stay in the present moment and really be there when you're speaking and listening.

Pay attention to non-verbal cues. This is essential when it comes to effective communication. So much of what we say is actually not said, and if you want to understand what others are really thinking or saying you have to do more than just listen. You have to look and experience too.

Intend to understand. This idea comes from Stephen Covey and focuses on the concept of listening to actually understand what is being said, rather than listening just to respond with what you want to say. This can be a tricky thing to do, especially for leaders as we always ready to respond with our own opinion. Too often we're not really trying to understand what others are saying but instead are trying to find a way to jump from their points to our own. Next time you're communicating, do what you can to really work on understanding what others are saying.

Ask for feedback from others. When it's all said and done, one of the best ways leaders can learn to communicate more effectively (particularly with specific individuals) is to ask for feedback. Take some time to speak to those who you communicate with frequently to find out how you can improve on your communication with them. Sometimes all it takes is a few suggestions and you'll be on the road to creating a better understanding with someone else. It's not always easy to ask for feedback, but it's worth it!

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