Communications secrets of great leaders

These days it’s becoming harder to be a great leader without being a great communicator as well. Forbes magazine has listed what it calls the “secrets” of great communication and that doesn’t just mean being a good talker. You can access the full article by clicking HERE.

The article argues in part what we practice here in our leadership consultancy division. One key element is that a leader must communicate ideas in a way that touches the target audience – speaking to their emotions and aspirations. It’s about reading people, understanding mood and attitude and adapting the message to the environment.

The Forbes article makes the very important point that this doesn’t involve deceit. Trust is absolutely essential. Speaking with a forked tongue is unacceptable –  “Keep in mind people will forgive many things where trust exists, but will rarely forgive anything where trust is absent”.

The leadership message must be conveyed with clarity and that means getting specific. The article makes this point succinctly:  “Without understanding the value of brevity and clarity it is unlikely you’ll ever be afforded the opportunity to get to the granular level as people will tune you out long before you ever get there. Your goal is to weed out the superfluous and to make your words count”.

There’s a lot of good points in the article but one that we like is about speaking to groups as if they were individuals. “Great communicators can tailor a message such that they can speak to 10 people in a conference room or 10,000 people in an auditorium and have them feel as if they were speaking directly to each one of them as an individual”.

At CTN, we take leaders on a journey from the current perception of their company to the reputation they wish to win. And that means both working out the key messages and testing them in our broadcast TV studio.  For many leaders, watching themselves perform on camera is an essential preparation for addressing managers, employees, investors or a TV audience. By observing their own performance, they see whether they’re really able to reach out to stakeholders in a meaningful and inspiring way.

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