Picture your next national sales conference – virtual or in-person. Imagine your quarterly market report to your stakeholders. Dream about opening your inbox to short, well-written emails that you need to see.
To lead well you must communicate well – in all of these scenarios … and more.
3 ½ Tips for Leaders to Communicate More Effectively
Leader Communication Strategy #1: Simplify.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Ask yourself – what are the two to five main ideas about your topic? OR if you’re trying to persuade your board – what are the two to five main reasons for taking your action step? That’s it. Narrow your focus and think about your two to five categories/buckets/reasons to get your message across. Your buckets can be filled with all of your data – just don’t confuse your audience by having endless main topics.
Leader Communication Strategy #2: Illustrate.
Use more stories. Once you’ve got your main points/reasons (only two to five) then make your topics sticky by adding stories. If you want your sales team to make more sales then urge them to share success stories with prospects. You can work around client confidentiality. Explain how you saved other (nameless) clients money and headache. Don’t think of stories as Disney musicals. Think of stories as real-life examples, with simplified metrics, of where your company has created big wins for other clients.
Leader Communication Strategy #3: Affirm.
If you want to lead successfully you must share with your colleagues, team and clients what they are doing right. When was the last time you praised someone, or an entire department, specifically and sincerely, for a job well done? Praise costs nothing and creates motivation. In a study of why people get out of bed and go to work the answer, “Get paid” is #4 on a list of 10 reasons. The top three reasons revolve around feeling included in decision-making and being appreciated for the jobs they’re doing.
Leader Communication Strategy Bonus ½: Listen.
Think super glue. Image that you’re putting a dab of this glue (don’t really do this… we are thinking of the Gorilla Glue fiasco!) on your bottom lip and clamp down. Figuratively you cannot open your mouth. All you can do is listen. And as a leader – listening gives you data, nuance and ideas. Information talks … wisdom listens.
© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved
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Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 2 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, #AlbertEinstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
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