6 Ways to Engage Others with Clear Communication

Skillful communication serves the purpose of effective, motivational leadership – to achieve results through the activities of people. The members of your team share with you a unique relationship based on a set of common goals for the organization. Effective communication binds all the members of this complex relationship together and enables you both as individuals and as a team to achieve organizational goals. As a leader, you enjoy the keen satisfaction of knowing you help others to achieve their goals while you reach your own goals.

Several constructive attitudes form the foundation for successful communication:

1. Good Human Relationships

Getting along well with people is essential to effective leadership. Constructive communication – written or verbal – takes into account the principles of good human relationships. Respect and consideration for others, for example, are paramount to good human relationships. “Treat others as you would have them treat you” is a reliable guideline at all levels of human interaction. If you want others to listen to you, for example, you must listen to them. If you want to be treated courteously, you must exhibit courtesy.

2. Mutual Understanding

Achieving results through communication and persuasion requires mutual understanding. Understanding, in turn, requires a genuine effort to see things from the point of view of others. This empathetic effort earns the confidence of other people, paves the way for acceptance of your message, and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

3. Impressing versus Expressing

Seeking to express your ideas or thoughts accurately rather than to impress others is a key attitude to more effective communication and persuasion. Regardless of the size of your audience, you can expect better results if you concentrate primarily on your message – the facts, ideas, or proposals you are trying to deliver – and on meeting the needs of your listeners instead of thinking about yourself and the impression you are making. Too much concern about the impression you are making destroys the message itself and marks you as insincere. Sincerity carries a tremendous impact; when you are genuine, your message comes across loud and clear.

4. The Right Timing

For the most positive results, choose the right timing for communicating each bit of information. Take into account the emotional climate, what else is happening, and the facial expressions of your listeners to help determine the right time for an exchange of information. A familiar proverb emphasizes the importance of timing: “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven … a time for silence and a time for speech.”

5. Communication as a Process

Whether written or verbal, communication is a process involving three essential components: a sender, a receiver, and a message. Effective communication brings about a mutual understanding between sender and receiver and results in some action or change in attitude or behavior, or both. Good communicators understand the important role of each step in the communication process.

6. The Constancy of Communication

Communication involves more than spoken or written words. As a leader, you are constantly communicating; even doing nothing tends to convey a powerful message. Effective leaders are always sensitive to nonverbal cues – to emotions, movements, facial expressions, personality, and other factors making up the total message.


Leadership Management® International
Reprinted with permission
Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.

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