As you try to get things done on your team, accomplish your goals, or grow your organization, being able to communicate with others is one the most significant factors for your success.
Many articles written to help professionals and leaders improve communication often focus on improving body language, tone of voice, saying things a certain way, making eye contact, and so on. Yet, lack of effective communication is still one of the biggest reasons why teams don't work. The reason is because effective communication goes deeper than these tactics. Effective communication is not about faking the right body language, saying the right words, or forcing the right tone of voice. Who you are and the relationship you have with the person you are communicating with has the biggest impact on what you say and how you say it. As you can see in the iceberg illustration below, the hidden factors have the greatest impact. The hidden part of the iceberg sank the titanic! When you are a true leader, and you have a connection with your audience, everything else falls into place for the most part. The right body language and tone of voice comes through.
Who are the kinds of people others listen to? As you try to complete your projects for the year, or be the a manager or individual contributor that your team listens to, here are some prerequisites for you to consider:
Relationships – people listen because of who you know and when you have a good relationship with them.
Insight - people listen because of what you know
Experience - people listen because of your experience in a particular area
Ability and Competence- people listen because of what you are able to do
Good Track Record - people listen because you have demonstrated results
Character - people listen because of your integrity. This leads to trust
Respect - people listen because you've earned their respect
Relevance - people listen because what you are communicating identifies with their needs
Convictions - people listen because of your passion
Connection – people listen because you have something in common with them.
Next time you are trying to communicate with a team member, client, colleague, or boss, and you want them to listen and take action, remember, it's not just about how you frame your words, how assertive you are, or how you adjust your body language (you can't fake the right body language), it's really about the kind of leader you are.
"Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand"
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