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Communicating as a Leader

Develop Good Communication Skills

Ernie Fitzpatrick asked:

One of the biggest problems in organizations today and life in general is that we don’t know how to communicate with one another. There aren’t as many “differences” as we think once we’re able to communicate properly. Interestingly, the majority of our communication is non verbal! We go through the day “communicating” and don’t even know it. People READ that communication and draw conclusions that aren’t valid and all of a sudden, we’ve got problems Houston! It is sometimes easier to draw a picture. Communicating is depositing a part of yourself in another.

John Philpot Curran said, “When I cannot talk sense, I talk metaphor”. Jesus of course spoke in parables but he did so for a “two edged sword” reason. First he wanted to conceal but then He also wanted to reveal. It’s no accident that we say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If we could but communicate more clearly, there would be less confusion, and more PROMOTIONS! The WORDS that we use and the TALK that we employ is difficult because it is understood on three levels. First of all, there is what I SAY! Secondly, there is what you HEAR. And, thirdly, there is what I think I MEAN by what I say! All three levels can have an entirely different interpretation.

“I don’t like people who talk when I am interrupting. “ Anonymous

One of the most difficult aspects of communication is our anticipation! The anticipation stems from our lack of LISTENING skills. You see, communicating is more about listening than it is speaking and as the philosopher says, “that is why we have two ears and one mouth.” We hear a person begin to say some- thing to us and we THINK we know what they’re going to say. We interrupt and respond before they have finished, which is not only poor for our understanding, but not courteous as well. Further, it communicates a message that you don’t care what they think.

“The less men think, the more they talk.” L. de Montesquieu

One of the major problems in today’s modern world is that our literacy rate is lower than it was in the pre-modern world of when our nation was founded in 1776! Hard to believe but true! Our public schools system is turning out people who can neither talk, think, read, or write. So, what’s hard about believing that we don’t communicate well?

“First learn the meaning of what you say, then speak.” Epictectus

On the more human side, there’s the emotional aspect of communicating which has to do with inter- personal relationships. In other words, there must be a sense of a TEAM! If I CARE about my co- workers, then I will give them the benefit of the doubt, I will clarify. I will make the extra effort to communicate well. In other words, I’ll employ Stephen Covey’s 5th point: seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.

“To speak much is one thing, to speak well is another”. Greek Proverb

The more we work on our communication skills the more we open up the opportunity to be a better employee and to be one considered for PROMOTION! If you don’t know where to begin, try the public library. Whatever you do, get help. Get better! “Remember, every time you open your mouth to talk, your mind walks out and parades up and down the words.” Edwin H. Stuart

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