Communication is a great ability a leader uses to mobilize their followers, transform behaviours and create a synergy of purpose. Communications in all forms whether written, verbal, physical or through signage is meant to convey meaning from one person to another or among groups.
The purpose of communication is not only for information sharing but to create understanding. A leader evokes understanding by what they do and say. Your followers may never gain meanings from what you say until you show them example of what you mean. Communication involves all actions carried out to pass a message either through speaking, writing or physical actions, create understanding, get feedback and justification for actions.
A leader communicates sometimes by giving small talks. A small talk helps the leader to give direction and stimulate responses without micromanaging the process. Communication does not take place because someone said so many things which did not give meaning to the hearers. It is not the exercise of the vocal muscle. It is sharing a common understanding towards getting things done.
Apart from giving small talks, leaders communicate smartly. Smart communication embodies stating fact of the matter with boldness and taking into consideration the feelings of those the message is intended. It includes, use of language, timeliness in presentation, context of the conversation, the tone of voice and the physical composure of the person delivering the message. Loose talk. Brash comments and blunt responses are not smart communication because they evoke emotions of ridicule, disrespect and anger no matter the result it brings.
Kathleen Schafer has suggested the following seven focal areas in building communication effectiveness:
1. Understanding your authentic self and communicating who you are with clarity and confidence.
2. Knowing what you want to contribute and creating your personal narrative.
3. Aligning your leadership with your actions by leading with your strengths.
4. Cultivating the three core leadership skills of communication, conscious choice and conflict resolution.
5. Leading in teams to enable talent to be at their best and bring it out in others by creating positive and productive alliances.
6. Creating real world results by aligning people to the impact they want to have so they are able to face change and challenge through collaboration and innovation.
7. Reflecting and refocusing to move onto the next peak in alignment with each person’s leadership though giving and receiving sound feedback.