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If You Can’t Communicate, How Can You Lead?!

May 16, 2014

12History and evolution suggest a leader’s most important ally is his or her verbal skill. More specifically, success depends on your ability to persuade others to follow and collaborate in pursuit of a worthwhile objective.  The leader’s greatest asset is credibility – based on trust, reputation and experience.   With communication and credibility combined, plus some added confidence, you are positioned for effective leadership.

These are a few of the larger areas in which you must develop verbal skill as a leader:

Cultivating Relationships

Being able to connect, build rapport, relate to and cultivate relationships comes easily for some – but not for all.  Many developing leaders have to learn to communicate with different types of people, including those that are more direct, spontaneous, considerate or logical.  Speaking in these four primary voices, to connect with the personality types who most often use them, is a great place to start.

Achieving Engagement & Results THROUGH Others

Engagement is one of the biggest business, human resources and training buzzwords of our time.  Learning to keep employees productive and happy in the workplace , as well as committed to your organization presents a big challenge with today’s worker.  Cultivating relationships with employees, as just noted, is an important part of engagement.  A second larger part is your ability to delegate or assign work to others so they are involved in the workplace, achieving important goals and tasks and freeing you up for the role of “overseer” aka leader, manager or supervisor.

Using Persuasion to Promote Change

A large percentage of employees are resistant to change for a variety of reasons.  Some like their comfort zone.  Others have a hard time making change if it doesn’t make sense to them.  For others, rocking the boat or upsetting the apple cart presents a threat to their own well-being or that of their co-workers or customers.  There are times when people are positioned for change, which allows you to be the “cheerleader.” As the cheerleader you can spur your staff on to new places and achievements with a positive, upbeat and encouraging message.  Before you can get to this place however, often you have to be the bearer of bad news.  Being the “doomsayer,” or taking a negative approach to motivating people works best when you’re having a hard time getting them on board with change.  A negative warning – “our business is in trouble if we can’t bring about this change” – followed by a hope of rescue – “but we still have time to turn things around if we all do our part” – and then reinforced with a next steps plan – “here’s what we need to do” – can get the job done!


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