We are constantly talking about leadership – personal leadership, leadership in organizations, political leadership – the truth is that maybe we have “exhausted the word”. Being a leader is not trying to gather followers who are waiting anxiously to be told what to do and how to do it. That was 30 years’ ago.
Today being a leader of success implies having the skills and attitudes necessary to engage and empower your people. Thus, making it possible for them to do all that they are really capable of and thereby generate and build trust in their teams.
One of the keys to achieve this purpose lies in your communication. Unfortunately, we do not always lend the time or space necessary to make sure we have been understood.
Peter Drucker said that 60% of business problems are justified based on poor communication, and this is applicable nowadays where uncertainty and volatility are constant in the socio-economic field. The need for the leader to spend time and energy to improve and refine your communication is compelling.
A leader needs to cultivate and model his communication as if it were a work of art to be able to influence the people you want to develop and lead. Influence is the key.
Many times we talk about communication and our mind goes to the great and evocative presentations in public, famous speakers, great speeches… but it is not that communication that I am talking about now… I’m talking about the communication in the short distances, the daily conversations, the face-to-face, those phrases that we usually say without having hardly stopped to think before.
Steps of communication
Listen not only attentively, with all your attention focused on the other person, but seeing and listening the non-verbal language.
Of course, this statement takes us by the hand to another of the most important steps in good communication.
A Chinese proverb says that “he who asks seems like a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask is a fool forever” Generally, we do not dare to ask, sometimes because of social inertia, in others because of beliefs and in others because we do not know how to do it.
There is another big problem with communication and it has to do with 2 different elements that come together when we talk about a situation:
- The clarity of what we want to say: it is clear in our mind but, we forget a detail … it is not the same in the mind of the other person, it is possible that he lacks elements to see the same picture than yourself.
- The obviousness of what we are saying: remember that the world is not like you see it but how you perceive it. What about the perception of the other?
It is not the responsibility of the other to understand you, it is your responsibility to explain yourself and make them understand you. Make sure that you have been able to explain yourself considering your vision and that of the other. Make sure that both of you have understood the same idea, that you are going to work in the same direction.
An important point that I mentioned before and of utmost importance for an adequate communication in the leader is the intention. How many times do we stop to think before talking with a collaborator what is the real reason for that conversation?
As leaders, it is essential to understand that the best way to achieve the objectives is to help others achieve their goals, hence your communication needs to have an important component of genuine interest in others, in knowing about them , about your fears, your desires, your way of looking at the world, your doubts, your strengths. From this focus you will achieve that emotional bond you need to generate closeness and confidence with your communication.
As we move forward in this reflection, having an effective communication, capable of generating influence and confidence, is not an easy task. We have not mentioned so far an important point, the power of words. We know that a true leader has an attitude of positivism present in all his actions.