A Leaders "3 C's" of Communication
“Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect to their tribe and when they help the tribe connect to itself” – Seth Godin
No matter what level you are communicating at, one to one with the CEO, your manager, your team members, peers or to a large audience you have to connect to them or you may as well be speaking to yourself. This applies to all interactions whether you are in the same room as them or they are sitting at their own computers at home having dialled in to listen to you.
Always remember the person or persons you are communicating with will be asking “what’s in it for me”. Your job is to answer that question. So, wherever possible deep research your audience. Not just their name and job title, consider the goal of the event/discussion, get to know what interests/drives individuals, but most important ensure you understand what they want from you?
The more you know about your audience the more you will be able to influence their thinking and behaviour on their terms, i.e. by answering their “what’s in it for me” question.
Knowledge is power and using that knowledge in your interaction connects you to your audience.
“ Leaders are – by definition – change makers. When you are called to lead, you are called to advance, move forward and improve the situation.” – Jonathan Michael Bowman JD
As a leader you are generally communicating to drive change of some kind, whether that’s improving performance, behaviours or increasing value for your business.
Having deep researched your audience you are able to deliver your message in a way that they will value.
When we want to communicate, we tend to jump straight into assembling our content, whether that’s in our head, meeting notes or presentation without really thinking about the change (message) we want to make/deliver. This hurry to be heard mentality ends up confusing the receivers of our communication. So, even before a simple conversation or a big presentation, try starting at the end, what is the message you want them to take away. What is it you want them to think, feel or do differently after your communication? Keep the end in mind and any content that doesn’t support the outcome should not be included.
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings” – Samuel Johnson
Confidence is key attribute of a great leader as it gives authority and credibility. When you exude confidence it allows your team, audience, or listeners to relax and engage with what you’re are saying and not what you are feeling.
“Fake it till you make it” – Mary Kay Ash
Turn those nerves/anxious moments into excitement, smile and stand like a power ranger, feet hip width apart and really feel the ground beneath your feet. If your sitting, remember not to cross your arms or legs. Always try keep your posture open and relaxed.
If you are uncomfortable in some communication/speaking situations, the best way to gain confidence is to do it as much as possible. Start small but try to put yourself into a communicating/speaking situation every day. Find YOUR style, be you. You don’t need to be extrovert to be confident, you don’t need to be loud or gregarious to come over as confident and trying to emulate someone else’s style is exhausting, not sustainable and not necessary.
If you are yourself and really believe in what you are communicating and have matched it to what your audience value, you will exude confidence.
“Confidence is not “will they like me” confidence is “I’m fine if they don’t” – Cristina Grimmie