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If You Can’t Communicate Effectively, How Can You Lead Exceptionally?! #1

July 8, 2018

SDS presentation-creationI’ve asked many times, “If you can’t communicate effectively, how can you lead exceptionally?”  Communication is so integral to leadership that it’s impossible, to have the later without the former.  Let’s face it, many people overlook how the three little building blocks of communication work – for or against them – on a continuous basis.  Those three little building blocks, that make a big difference, are non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication.  Here are some key points.

First, non-verbal communication includes things that don’t necessarily come out of your mouth.  Primarily body language, facial expressions and how you look, walk and act.  Secondly, vocal communication includes the endless variations of tones (tone of voice) that can be expressed according to your feelings about a person or situation.  And, thirdly, verbal communication is the actual words that come out of your mouth – for better or worse!

Here’s what you need to know about using the building blocks:

  • When you communicate a “matched message,” or when these elements are in harmony with each other, you’ll usually be perceived as credible, believable and understandable.  When one or more of these building blocks doesn’t match the others, you’re sending a “mixed message” that causes you to be received as less understandable and believable and your message as less reliable.  Harmonious messages make for more effective communication than do mixed ones.  But, every moment somewhere on the planet one human is sending a mixed message to another individual or group of people in a passive-aggressive or deliberately manipulative way to get a certain reaction.  Perhaps your job is to watch for the cues, read behind the clues and try to figure out what the person is saying.

But, of course, every moment somewhere on the planet one human is sending a mixed message to another individual or group of people in a passive-aggressive or deliberately manipulative way to get a certain reaction. 

  • These building blocks are always at work. There’s no escaping the fact you are going to send messages whenever others are watching (and of course even when they are not).   Everything communicates, and you are always communicating!

Everything communicates, and you are always communicating!

  • You can take control of communication by learning to manage how you are coming across.  Sometimes it means slowing down or calling time out to get centered before expressing yourself.  Other times it requires conjuring up some enthusiasm for the topic of a conversation to infuse the message with the right degree of energy.  At times you may need to communicate with yourself through positive “self-talk” to gain momentary confidence that “you can do it!”

Although the focus of this blog is the importance of the three building blocks – non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication – it’s apparent that many factors influence your degree of harmony when communicating.  Those factors include state-of-mind, confidence, familiarity with the people or situation, your status with another individual or audience size.   But more on these in another blog…

 

 

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