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Change Your Communication Technique

in Communicating as a Leader

Ann Golden Egle asked:

It’s May. Before you experience spring’s new burst of growing and before summer’s warmth massages your heart, it’s time to get your head back around the prospect of making the last seven months of this year more about effectiveness than ever before.

How do you snap back into the productivity gear? Look closely at things you’ve got going that kill your enthusiasm, your ability to create or to be productive. Common killers that dominate my seminars and private coaching are the following:

He takes far too long to make his point. By the time he gets there my mind is elsewhere and I am irritated at his utter lack of respect for my time and expertise.

Her communication is more about her than me. It’s brusque, as though she doesn’t have time for me. I grow confused, agitated and eager to avoid her.

These two modes of very poor communication are present in work or social venues across the world. I’m sure you can clearly see both of these in ‘others.’.’ Could you be the culprit? If you suspect that this is the case, please consider the following and take immediate action.

Is it possible to know if you take too long to get your point across?

Here’s an example:

When I first entered the coaching profession in the mid 90’s, literally no one in my community had a clue what ‘personal or executive coaching’ was. I was so excited about the prospects of helping clients turn their lives around that I talked on and on, advocating what I believed to be fabulous facts and figures. Soon, I noticed my recipients looking for an escape route, their eyes glazed over, and the yawns soon followed.

I lost them through not first learning about their specific area of interest and then narrowing my focus to them. Had I taken more time to ask questions, get curious about them, the conversation would have been more to the point, more engaging and effective.

This is true in your work environment where people are always behind schedule. Make it a practice to respect your colleagues and subordinates time. Know when time is of the essence, which is 90% of the time. State what they need to know quickly and thoroughly, and let them be on their way. You will begin to notice a change, such as, they might begin to accept your phone calls.

How do you know when your communication is too curt, injuring rather than encouraging your recipients? This is tough to identify as you rush through your day, oftentimes leaving injuries in your wake as you move boldly to the next project. You are not aware of the damage until it grows to be a major problem. That’s too late.

Brief communication is not the enemy here: your lack of respect, awareness and tone of voice are. I appreciate leaders who communicate quickly and to the point, with a twinkle in their eye and huge heart that says ‘If you need more time, I’ll give it to you.’ They are in-the-moment, focused on you, aware of whether you are receiving their point or not.

As with talking too much, you know if you are too abrasive by closely watching your recipient. Are they with you? Is your communiqu?ore about you (or your state of mind) than them and what their needs are? We’ve already established that people don’t like to be thoughtlessly told what to do. Is there another way to phrase your directive, perhaps a question to attain facts before handing out commands?

At our core, we respect communication that is honest. Place it in the forefront of your interactions this week. Ask for constructive feedback and suggestions. Enjoy becoming an even more effective and enjoyable leader in your own world this week and watch your productivity and effectiveness soar. Have an outstanding week and enjoy your discoveries!

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