Without exception, effective leaders are also superior communicators. These leaders carefully craft their messages to connect with clients, employees and investors on an emotional level. Their words influence and inspire others to achieve more than they could ever imagine.
Use these 10 secrets of effective leaders to deliver powerful, influential messages:
1. Know Your Audience
Effective leaders don’t try to impress others – they try to help others. So think about what your audience needs to hear, and how you can make them more receptive to your message. Even if it’s bad news, tell people what’s important for them to know.
2. Become Fluent in Body Language
Effective leaders constantly monitor their audience’s reactions to their message. Pay attention to cues like facial expressions and body language; it’s often the only feedback you will receive. Use these non-verbal cues to adapt your message and communication style in the moment.
3. Be Honest
Effective leaders know that the best communication is the truth – not spin. On occasions when you are unable to share certain information, come right out and say so, as honesty builds trust.
4. Be Authentic
Even when they’re behind a podium, effective leaders make a conscious effort to be themselves. When you stay true to yourself, people gravitate to your message.
5. Be Accountable
When effective leaders make a mistake, they admit it right away. Demonstrate accountability for your words and actions, without drama or false humility.
Effective leaders know communication is two direction and listening is often more important than sharing. When someone else is speaking, listen actively and focus on understanding the other person’s perspective.
7. Speak With Authority
Effective leaders take risks by sharing clear, direct messages about how things are and how they need to be. Avoid vague, wishy-washy and unassertive language.
8. Address Groups As Individuals
Leaders rarely have the luxury of speaking to one person at a time whether they’re at a conference table or a bustling auditorium. Learn how to work the room and make every single person feel as if he or she is being spoken to directly.
9. Be Proactive
Effective leaders proactively squash the rumor mill by sharing bad news in a timely manner. They also give clear, concise goals and directions so their talent goes in the same, intended direction.
10. Solicit Feedback
Effective leaders doublecheck that their audience received their intended message. Verify that your message was understood correctly. If it was not, tweak your message and try again.
Effective leaders excel in communication because they value it, and the respect they demonstrate to their audience comes back to them with ease.
What other tips lead to effective, influential leadership?
Lisa Goller helps businesses tell their story. As a Toronto-based Strategic Freelance Writer & Editor, she helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out, look good and save time. Learn more at lisagoller.com
Dr. Travis Bradberry, Harvard Business Review, Inc.