Tuesday 23 December 2014

Part 3: For Leaders, Communication Is Not Just Communication

The credibility you have built as a leader goes a long way in supporting your communication agenda. A prolonged silence could be taken just as seriously as a simple instruction or a long lecture.

Conflict: Ask yourself if questions from audience or key members confuse and baffle you? How you conduct yourself when you are caught off guard by a question or when you are not prepared with a ready response actually gives insight of your overall personality and nature. Whether the occasion is one to one or one to few or addressing a large group, leaders ideally ought to use every opportunity to communicate with greater goals in mind than to defend personal ego or individual interests. When the intention is beyond safe guarding petty ego or personal agenda, the communication is not just exchange of ideas but also transfer of conviction.

Choice of Words/ methods/ Pace: What went well when you were a college graduate cannot probably suit things now. A joke that appeals to a young crowd might not necessarily create the same ripple with business unit heads. Even with best of intentions, your communication as a leader can be a disaster if you do not work on your language and study your audience. If you are being fed or self-taught reflects in what words you use, methods you adopt and pace you maintain during the communication. If you are fed by external source regarding what to talk, you are likely to fumble; the presentation method will make it evident if communication is knowledge based or situational dressing up. Most pseudo intellectuals and self proclaimed leaders miserably fail in this arena.

Content: You do not necessarily have to create material as the research part is often done by support functions. In a presentation with over – say twenty slides including audio, video, reports and reviews; you can remember the storyboard and the sequence if you were involved in its creation. It always helps a great deal if you create material instead of just checking and approving slides done by others. Share you pointers as the listeners not only get a glimpse of your strategic thinking and competitive intelligence, you speak with more conviction as the ideas are original, yours and you know exactly what you are talking.

In a few months I can come up with another ten C’s however that is not the whole point. The takeaway here is, each of these factors is internal – cannot be changed externally. “You” are the reason and “You” again are the solution.

For leaders, communication is definitely not just communication – it is the overall executive presence. Assess yourself by answering the BECKON Qualifying Questionnaire. You can command attention and carry yourself well when you leaders consider communication as a powerful tool to sharpen your image and impact business

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