Ways to Lead With Effective Communication

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

Ways to Lead With Effective Communication

The journey starts with these tips to build your workforce communication skills, offered from working entrepreneurs, speakers, authors and coaches. The first one is mine.

1. Ask more than one person to do it, and nobody will.

When someone else is present before I act I’ll stop to consider if my actions are socially appropriate. I run a marketing agency, and when I ask a group of people in my agency to do something, as in “Hey, will somebody who was copied on this email take care of XYZ task?” It’s much less effective than asking a single person to take responsibility.

Being a passive bystander is virtually hard-wired. This is why individuals who take emergency training are directed, when someone gets hurt, to point at someone and say “You in the red shirt, call 9-1-1!” Rather than, “Someone call 9-1-1!”

2. Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Your actions after you speak are just as important because if you didn’t follow through on what you said in the past, people won’t trust you really mean what you say in the future.

3. Use simple global communication.

More than ever we’re doing business across cultures, and simple language is key, says Jan Smejkal, the China & APAC Community Director of Startup Grind.

“If you are building a business in a country where the knowledge of English is relatively low, and where the cultural differences might cause additional difficulties, focus on:

  • Using simple language to deliver the message. (Note, simple does not mean simple-minded.)
  • Avoiding sarcasm, which can easily be misunderstood.
  • Getting the right partner and employees who will help you bridge the language and culture gaps.”

4. Don’t rely on your device.

“A real conversation is almost always more valuable than a digital one,” says Carl Woolston of MaxMindsetCoach.com “Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or set up a real meeting. Relationships are about connection, and connection is an investment.”

5. Study your body language.

Robyn D. Shulman of EdNews Daily says: “Your body language can have greater power than words.”

Here are four places she says to get awareness:

  • Eye contact — pay attention and check if your listener is checked-in (or out).
  • Posture — get relaxed and open.
  • Your arms — decide what you’ll do with them.
  • Vocal tone — sound warm and approachable.

6. Keep quiet.

“If you’re not the expert,” he says, “don’t insert yourself into conversations and discussions where your untested advice may backfire and discredit you from future relationships and opportunities.”

“The power of listening and of being a quick study in the presence of others when communicating in a private or group setting is often underestimated,” he says, “but remains easily one of the most powerful traits for advancement and growth you can possess.”

7. Listen to listen.

“We are trained to listen to reply,” says Virginia Phillips, author, speaker and coach at Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. “But if you can listen to gather data about another person’s situation, perspective, and personality, you can apply a greater level of emotional intelligence and increase your chances to influence the conversation and the individual.”

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