When you communicate, are you confident your message will land how you intended?
Whether interacting one-to-one, with a small group or a large audience, understanding what makes communication effective will build your confidence. Great leaders aren’t born effective communicators, but it is a skill you can learn and develop.
An effective communicator plans ahead
Leaders who are effective communicators start by defining the key messages and considering how they want their audience to respond to them. They can then select the best method or channel of communication to encourage this response. They’re open about sharing the intended outcome with their audience.
For example, let’s consider a leader is in a one-to-one with a team member who has huge potential but lacks work ethic. The leader wants to see an improvement in the employee’s effort and performance – so he shares this at the start of the meeting. Careful planning helps the leader to structure the conversation to achieve their desired outcome.
An effective communicator aligns message and personal presentation
How you present yourself to an audience says a lot about you, your organisation and the message you have to communicate. Good communicators consider this before showing up for a presentation or speech. They think carefully about the impact their personal appearance, facial expressions and body language could have on their message. If you struggle in this area, coaching may help you to better land your message.
An effective communicator reads the audience
Successful communicators have the ability to engage with their audience and look out for signals they can respond to. This could be body language, answers to questions, reactions to discussion points, or even a lack of response altogether. By reading the signs and being sensitive to what your audience is telling you, you can adjust your approach accordingly.
An effective communicator asks for feedback
When was the last time you checked in with your audience? Strong communicators ask their audience for feedback on what they have understood, what went well and not so well, and what they have learned.
It is possible to make improvements to how you communicate by taking the time to ask questions. We’re all different and we all communicate in different ways. Successful communicators recognise this. A style that works for one audience is not effective for everyone.
An effective communicator refines their message
No business stands still. So why should their communications? Effective communicators review and rework their messaging as the organisation evolves.
We’ve being doing a spot of development at Zest for Life and our messaging is now much clearer than when we started in 2010. Back then we set out to develop ‘a real Zest for Life’ in individuals and organisations.
Now we’ve defined our vision, we understand what having ‘a real Zest for Life’ means:
We want the people we work with to have a renewed ‘Zest for Life’ and feel energised, focused and valued in the work they do.
We practice what we preach, so we’re committed to sharing more about what we do – like this blog! The results show this has been successful.
We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the specialists who support us to become even better. By being reliant on yourself there's a limited level of effectiveness you can achieve. Communicating effectively with others is crucial. If you would like support to develop your own or your team's skills in this area, we’d love to hear from you.