Leadership and communication are intrinsically linked. It’s pretty simple, if you can not communicate where you want the team to go and what you expect from them along the way, it is highly unlikely anyone will get there.
In preparing for 2011, one of the the key areas to evaluate personally and professionally is how well we communicate our message to the people that matter.
As I was pondering just how to demonstrate this critical skill, my BioWorld newsletter landed in my mailbox and in it was a link to a video poking fun at the life of an analyst. Take a look.
Video by conspicuouscynic at YouTube.com
Have you ever found yourself in this virtual reality? One where communication is simply nonexistent. Not only are goals misaligned and directions totally obscure, but the relationships between team members devolve in a downward spiral.
Putting ourselves and our businesses in a place where we can seize the opportunities that will be before us in 2011 requires clarity in our communications, vision and actions. So what are the hallmarks of clarity?
C – Consistency
Merriam Webster’s defines consistency like this:
- a archaic : condition of adhering together : firmness of material substance b : firmness of constitution or character : persistency
- degree of firmness, density, viscosity, or resistance to movement or separation of constituent particles <boil the juice to the consistency of a thick syrup>
- a : agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole : correspondence; specifically : ability to be asserted together without contradiction b : harmony of conduct or practice with profession <followed her own advice with consistency>
L – Less Buzz – More Substance
Just as our communications need to hold together firmly and in harmony with our vision, the way that we voice it must be our own. Axioms and buzz words may have a degree of comfort. When we are are using the ideas and words of others, we don’t have to struggle to find our own. Unfortunately, these tried and true phrases seldom ring with the feeling of truth and veracity that can be found in the simple statement of a truly personal and heartfelt belief.
E – Easy to understand
Our communications do not need to be complex to be effective. Simple statements are often the most powerful. Powerful and impactful communications are not the ones that get a standing ovation but rather are those where both the speaker and the listener come away with the same understanding.
A – Actionable
When we communicate with clarity, we drive action. Thus it is critical that what we inspire others to do be actionable. Responsible leaders do not act as a pied piper to lead their team off a cliff. With our power to communicate comes a responsibility to do it in a way that guides our teams to a successful outcome when their actions follow our words.
R – Respectful
If we want respect we have to give it. Whether our respect is for those we work with or what together we work for, respect in communication requires a willingness to to not just show respect in tone or tenor, but also as it applies to our intent. It shows in the degree of consideration we show for the needs of the person we communicate with, not just in the message we desire to deliver.
Pull it all together…
and your communication is CLEAR. When you are able to clearly state what you and your business need, you are more likely to get it. When you apply the same degree of clarity to what you or your business has to offer to others, they are more likely to accept it and embrace it.
So as we move into 2011, make an effort to be CLEAR. When you do you just might find that you go further and get there faster than you ever imagined you could.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned….
I’ll be sharing more tips to help you get ready for 2011 throughout the month of December.
About the Author:
An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits, as well as into community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C. To learn more about how to deliver your message with clarity, you can contact her by clicking here.