Leadership is: Communication

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Robert McCloskey

At the risk of sounding cliche’, communication is key really important! This seemingly simple aspect of leadership has ruined more relationships and lost more influence than any other action — I don’t know that for a fact, but it makes communication seem really important doesn’t it?

The truth is communication makes or breaks leadership. All too often we know what we want to say, in fact, we’ve thought long and hard about whatever it is we KNOW we NEED to communicate. So we say it. If we were a good communicator we would have developed some healthy communicating habits before we just “said it.”

The first thing we would have done is…

1. Questioned if it really needed to be said: In our world of say anything to anyone quickly, our filters have yet to catch up. Not everything needs to be said. Sometimes, the loudest thing you can communicate is your silence.

the next thing we would have done if we were good communicators is…

2. Considered who we were talking to: If what you have to say is important enough to say, then it is important enough to say it in a way they will hear it. Always consider your audience. Depending on the course or the dorm, I’m not going to talk to a middle school group the same way I’m going to talk to a college group.

and finally we would have…

3. Figured out what we really wanted to say:  The reason we figure out what we really want to say is because that single thing is what we’re going to say. Don’t add more than is needed to get what you need to say said, end of story.

Saying is just one part of communication but for the sake of my 350 word limit let me just say this: LISTEN. Part 2 of communication is listening, not staying quite — it’s listening. Hear what the other person is saying, and not saying!

What is your biggest struggle with communication: Saying or Listening?

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3 thoughts on “Leadership is: Communication

  1. […] it violates the healthy habits of communication (I talk about the healthy habits of communication here), as well as John Maxwell’s law of […]

  2. […] average person than receiving, or listening, is.  Also, since we’ve already discussed some healthy sharing habits in an earlier post, lets look at some healthy listening […]

  3. […] drive away your high performers. I’ve written about some habits of effective communication here and […]

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