Effective Communication Skills
Effective leadership stems from being a good communicator to our people and stakeholders. In order to be successful and have influence, we must be able to connect to them verbally and non-verbally based on the purpose and objectives that supports our mission. Here is a Chinese proverb that I am sure we have heard in many different versions when it comes to leadership and communication. “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I’ll understand.”
Leaders who practice good listening skills will gain more respect and loyalty from their peers, subordinate leaders, and their people versus those who don’t take the time to listen.
Why is it important to be a good listener?
For many of us, we know that it takes time, experience, and continued practice to learn this critical, perishable skill of effective communication, and for most of us, we are still learning. Listening is an important factor in communication; we must be focused primarily to the person or persons delivering the message. Everything else, whether it is thoughts or internal reactions to the message being received, must be refrained from a response. Allow the information to be passed on as we understand it, and our proper responses would be in agreement by gestures or by acknowledgment of information received and providing feedback. I guess we could call it being an active listener.
Tone of Voice
When it comes to communication, we as leaders know that our tone of voice has influence on people’s behavior and it affects their emotions.
How can our tone of voice affect people?
The way we communicate to our people as leaders is important. Our voices are an extension of our personality. People respond to our voices automatically in a positive or negative way. We have to be careful, because what we say in a certain tone may affect morale in the workplace. When we speak and are passionate or confident about something, our voices tend to be a lot stronger in tone. When this happens, people are drawn in and want to pay attention to what is being said because the tone change draws interest. Most of us know when to adjust our tone of voice to get our point across or to emphasize something important. Most voice experts would say that if we want to have a good tone of voice as a leader we should speak slowly and in a deep tone. This would signify that we are knowledgeable and in a position of authority. To be an effective communicator, we need to make sure that we utilize the proper tone of voice when communicating to our people. It’s not what we say, it’s how we say it that affects the behavior of others and how they view us as leaders.
Alexander R. Figueroa is the bestselling Author of Assess This! The Power of Introspection for Leaders by Blackcard Books, a Certified John C. Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach, works with professionals, associations, businesses and entrepreneurs to help them hone in their skills and become change agents of their organizations and communities. He works as a leadership trainer for his local high schools, mentoring future leaders of tomorrow.