We all know that communication is a key element of collaboration and leadership. Communication and leadership are inextricably linked. We don't need a reminder for this.
At the same time, we also understand that communicaiton is an art with gads of variables and nuance. It's the type of challenge that can benefit from a list of rules, guidelines, or reminders.
I found such a list from author and consultant Mike Myatt on his N2Growth Post Unwritten Rules of Communication. Here are the rules and a summary of Mike's elaboration:
- Speak not with a forked tongue: Trust is key and is best created by earning it with right acting, thinking, and decisioning.
- Get personal: There is great truth in the axiom that states: “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
- Get specific: Specificity is better than Ambiguity 11 times out of 10: Learn to communicate with clarity.. weed out the superfluous and to make your words count.
- Focus on the leave-behinds not the take-aways: The best communicators develop the ability to get the information they need while leaving the other party feeling as if they got more out of the conversation than you did.
- Have an open mind: I’ve often said that the rigidity of a closed mind is the single greatest limiting factor of new opportunities. In my opinion a leader takes their game to a whole new level the minute they willingly seek out those who hold dissenting opinions and opposing positions with the goal not of convincing them to change their minds, but with the goal of understanding what’s on their mind. I’m always amazed at how many people are truly fearful of opposing views as opposed to being genuinely curious and interested. Open dialogs with those that confront you, challenge you, stretch you, and develop you. Remember that it’s not the opinion that matters, but rather the willingness to discuss it with an open mind.
- Shut-up and listen: No elaboration required.
- Replace ego with empathy: When cador is communicated with empathy & caring and not the prideful arrogance of an over inflated ego good things begin to happen.
- Read between the lines: Being a leader should not be viewed as a license to increase the volume of rhetoric. Rather astute leaders know that there is far more to be gained by surrendering the floor than by filibustering. In this age of instant communication, everyone seems to be in such a rush to communicate what’s on their mind that they fail to realize everything to be gained from the minds of others. Keep your eyes & ears open and your mouth shut and you’ll be amazed at how your level or organizational awareness is raised.
- When you speak, know what you’re talking about: Develop a technical command over your subject matter. If you don’t possess subject matter expertise, few people will give you the time of day.
- Speak to groups as individuals: Knowing how to work a room and establish credibility, trust and rapport are keys to successful interactions.
I'd recommend a full read of the post not only as a checklist for your own actions but to also help understand the approaches of the people that you work with daily.
Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.