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The Communication Secrets That Top Leaders Swear By

Communication skills are fundamental to the success of any individual/team.

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Communication skills
Image Credit: Midjourney

As someone knee-deep in the trenches of running a business or managing teams, you know there’s a critical component that often goes unnoticed until it’s missing: clear, effective communication. This is why I offer communications skills training. A 2019 study has shown how essential this skill is: people are predominately hired for their competencies but likely to be fired due to a lack of people skills, skills such as being able to motivate, build trust and develop rapport with others.

Communication skills are fundamental to the success of any individual/team. When teams communicate well, projects seem to run as if on greased wheels; when they don’t, even simple tasks can become a Herculean challenge.

Getting the Foundations Right

The initial step in refining our communication prowess is recognising that clarity rules but tone come in a very close second. The way we stitch our sentences or craft our conversations must hinge on delivering our message without the frills that muddle it. Yet, we need to be able to create flexible communication styles to get the best out of diverse teams and individuals, as everyone has unique needs!

This means striking the balance between what you need to say and how you say it.

This simplicity starts with understanding our audience. Just as a skilled chef considers dietary preferences before curating a menu, effective communicators are often leaders who tailor their approach based on who is on the receiving end. Do they share your professional jargon, or will industry terms leave them baffled? Adjusting your linguistic palette to suit your listener’s taste is not pandering – it’s practical.

Compare the techniques of influence and communication to the volley of a tennis match: the serve, the return, the back-and-forth of the rally. The game requires adaptability, anticipation, and strategic play. Similarly, conversation requires active listening, not just to respond but to understand – to engage with the underlying sentiments and values that shape the discourse.

Crafting the Message with Care

The heart of communication lies in the careful construction of your message. The words you choose are the bricks with which you build understanding, and their arrangement is the mortar that holds meaning in place. But how does one select the right words? For many people in the business world, there’s a lack of knowledge as to what language will land.

Presentations lack a central message that hits at the heart of your audiences’ needs. This is especially challenging with mixed audiences, for example, when there are technical and business-focused listeners.. You need to think about what you want to get out of a presentation from both your perspective and that of your audience!

When we compose an email or prepare to speak, it’s useful to imagine ourselves on the receiving end. Empathy – the capacity to place oneself in another’s position – is a guiding star in the cosmos of communication. A simple shift in perspective can transform our approach, helping us avoid potential pitfalls and fostering a more profound connection with our audience, that will make both you and your message memorable – for the right reasons.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

Engaging with Emotion and Logic

Humans are emotional creatures dressed in the veneer of logic. Our conversations often weave through both domains, requiring us to balance rational thought with emotional intelligence. It’s a ballet where each participant must be attuned not only to their own steps but also to their partner’s emotional cues.

An effective communicator recognises when to appeal to reason and when to connect with feeling. If you want to be an effective communicator, you’ll need to increase your presence. This awareness is pivotal in situations laden with tension or when persuading an audience. By tapping into shared values or concerns, we create a resonant frequency that binds the speaker and listener in a shared experience.

Your Action:

  1. Identify your core message and consider what you want your audience to remember.
  2. Consider how you want to bring ideas to life through effective communication.
  3. Engage through empathy and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. How would you react to that message?
  4. Seek feedback afterwards to find out if communication has improved.

Frankie Kemp is a leading specialist in delivering exceptional communication skills training, presentation skills training and much more to help you and your employees be the very best they can be. As a performer and award-winning storyteller, Frankie helps teams and individuals be less vanilla and more thriller! Visit www.frankiekemp.com to find out more.

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