Monday 15 December 2014
Part 2: For Leaders, Communication Is Not Just Communication
In my last post, I pointed if you have language concern - that is a major hindrance not just for leaders but anyone. The remedial measures are not just a quick action plan on lessons and practice but a pretty lengthy learning process. If there is anything that requires more time than language learning, it is building competence internally and dealing with chronic issues. The simpler aspects that seem apparent – stage fright, memory lapse etc. are just derivatives of the underlying chronic concerns.
Confidence: A senior HR professional I know, whose last role was that of Vice President tells me training large teams is not really her forte. She is good with presentations to Management Team or clients. There are many leaders who use defense mechanism not to try something new, as they fear they might not be quite as good like they usually are in their primary roles or deliverables. In a few years from now, as a board member in some company or a CEO in a startup, would it be better to falter in a town hall rather than seize opportunities now and improve? Build confidence now by using available scope to speak in large forums - including training. To begin with, shift focus from “You” to “Them” and take genuine interest in your audience and watch your confidence grow.
Connect: On that note, “Interest in your audience” I want to re iterate, you can never relate, connect or influence your audience or create an impact on their thought process, if you do not know them. I have seen leaders who almost always get into lecture mode the minute they see an audience. They set expectations at the outset that they want all kind of questions – intelligent or silly and hope for a session that is interactive. However, they are so pre occupied talking that there is no room for participation. Communication is two ways and if you were unable to connect, it is as good as not having communicated at all. Structure your content and communication style to suit your intention to connect first. As leaders, this responsibility is huge.
Conviction: I regard the recent Nescafe advertisement more than just an advertisement. Nothing can keep you down or stop you if your conviction is intact. Not everyone has the gift of speaking, and seriously, that is not required either to articulate or communicate effectively. It is your conviction that matters more than a physical handicap. What possibly could be pointed as ineffective communication are those without conviction. Can’t you spot a leader miles away and catch the difference when he mentions future business growth from a slide or from a deeper belief system?
Next in the series on Communication for Leaders: Conflict, Content and Competition