As a leader, you know that your ability to communicate effectively is a vital contributor to the results that you achieve. After all if you don’t communicate effectively you might struggle for example to:
• Engage others by building rapport
• Miss out on good ideas or opportunities
• Fail to get your point across as well as you would like.
Communication is often seen narrowly as being about speaking. Yet you know that this is just one component of communication. Of equal importance is your ability to get your message across in writing and listen effectively.
So what might you do in each of the three areas to boost your communication skills?
• Take the time to properly plan, especially when giving a formal presentation.
• Keep the focus on your key messages rather than trying to memorise things word for word.
• Don’t detract from your key objective. This is sometimes easy to say but more difficult to do, particularly if in a challenging situation.
• Practice, practice, practice – it really does make a big difference.
• Think about structure right up front.
• If you are preparing a report, make sure you include an executive summary or précis of the key points.
• Watch out for technical jargon that might mean something to you but not to your readers.
• Focus on paying attention to what is being said when someone else is speaking rather than formulating what you are going to say next.
• Make sure you are watching out for disconnects between what is being said and the non verbal signals like body language.
• Try being completely silent or making minimal contributions if you are usually very vocal in meetings.
Bottom Line – There is always scope to get better at communicating. So what other tips would you add?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.