Strengths of Leaders and how you can implement leadership qualities (part 1)
What does it take to become a skillful leader and communicator? Is it taught in the world of academia? During school we are trained to focus on vocabulary, grammar, context, delivery, enunciation, syntax and the like. We are taught to focus on ourselves. What is seldom taught is how to correctly focus on others. This is the skill that leaders desperately require to communicate.
The ability to develop a profound external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who attempt interactions with others, yet seldom get their point across and impress their listeners. The reason communication is an essential part of leadership is without a clear message no one can follow successfully. Strong communicators talk about their ideas which speaks directly to your emotions and your aspirations. They realize if their message does not take deep root with the audience then it won’t be understood and accepted.
Leaders are excellent communicators
Most leaders spend the overwhelming majority of their time each day in some type of an interpersonal situation. Excellent leaders remove organizational problems which occur as a result of poor communications. It is precisely this paradox that underscores the need for leaders to focus on becoming great communicators. Effective communication is an essential component of professional success whether it is at the interpersonal, inter-group, intra-group, organizational, or external level. Developing an understanding of great communication skills is easier than one might think. It does take being focused and listening carefully.
Being present when communicating
When you acquire skills and knowledge the value is only if you can practically apply them when called for. The number one thing great communicators have in common is they possess a heightened sense of situational and contextual awareness. The best communicators are great listeners and astute in their observations. Great communicators are skilled at reading a person or group by sensing the moods, dynamics, attitudes, values and concerns of those being communicated with. Not only do they read their environment well, but they possess the uncanny ability to adapt their messaging to said environment without missing a beat. The message is not about the messenger; it has nothing to do with the messenger; it is however 100% about meeting the needs and the expectations of those you’re communicating with.
The following are some actions to consider in developing your skills as a leader and building relationships with others.
Speak the truth:
If people do not trust you they will not be open in their communication with you. When people have a sense a leader is worthy of their trust they will invest time and take risks in ways they never would if their leader had a reputation built upon poor character or lack of integrity. Demanding trust rarely works. Trust is best created by earning it with right action, thinking, and decision making. People will forgive many things when trust exists, but will rarely forgive anything when trust is absent.
Instead of focusing or sending corporate communications begin having organizational conversations meaning, think dialog not monologue. The more personal and engaging the conversation is the more effective it will be. Remember “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Specificity is better than Ambiguity 100% of the time. Learn to communicate with clarity. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing. Without understanding the value of brevity and clarity seldom will you ever be afforded the opportunity to get to the granular level of a topic as people will tune you out long before you ever get there. Your goal is to weed out the unessential and to make your words count. Focus on delivering gifts of knowledge or thoughts to ponder not what you can get from your audience (whether to a person or group):
The best communicators are not only skilled at learning and gathering information while communicating, they are also adept at transferring ideas, aligning expectations, inspiring action, and spreading their vision. The key is to approach each interaction with the heart of serving. When you truly focus on contributing more than receiving you will have accomplished the goal. Even though this may seem counter-intuitive, by intensely focusing on the other party’s wants, needs and desires, you’ll learn far more than you ever would by focusing on your agenda. Your agenda should be communicating and understanding you audience to deliver them a message that resonates with them.
Attitudes toward leadership are changing, and what women offer is essential. Dominion as a leadership style is becoming less and less popular. There is a new growing appreciation of those traits that women use to keep families together and to organize volunteers to unite and make change in the shared life of communities. These newly admired leadership qualities of shared leadership; nurturance and doing well for others are today not only sought after but also indeed needed to make a difference in the world. You can learn more about female leadership at Professional Women in Solar Breakfast at www.solarpowerinternational.com.