Imagine, just for a second, that you lived in a world where you can read someone else’s mind. Woah. Pretty
crazy right? The things you would learn, the ability to know the truth… wouldn’t it be nice? Well, unfortunately that is not the world that exists, but we can still get pretty close through something known as communication. There are many strategies, tips, and tricks that exist to help someone become not just a better communicator, but a better leader; however, attempting to remember pages and books on a multitude of strategies is not only tedious but nearly impossible to do. In an effort to simplify the extremely complex world of communication, it helps to focus on not what we don’t know or can’t understand, but on already existent truths. In breaking down several studies and articles, it is possible to see that by focusing on three communication truths that encapsulate much (but certainly not all) of what is important for effective communication and leadership, one can reap the benefits of this crucial skill for years to come.
1. We cannot read minds.
Simply put, no matter how hard we may try, I cannot read your mind and you cannot read mine. I may have an idea of what you want, but I do not know what that is unless you communicate it to me. Another way to think about this: don’t make assumptions—all they do is, well, you know how the rest of the saying goes.
2. The desired message to be communicated is affected by the medium, and the chosen medium should be affected by the message.
The message a leader seeks to convey is impacted by the medium used in communication. The more simple the message is, the simpler the communication medium should be; the more complex the message, the more complex the communication medium should be. Different mediums of communication span everything from texts and IMs to snail mail to face-to-face meetings to telepathy (kidding), and all of them can be effective forms of communications in different circumstances.
3. Honesty is everything (well, at least part of it).
A leader should be honest in communication, and invite honest communication in return. Honesty and transparency in leadership can lead to higher levels of trust, which, among other things, can improve employee morale and organizational culture. Communication should be both effective AND honest in order to not just be perceived as, but to actually embody the principles of authentic leadership.
While these descriptions are brief, it would be possible to write whole articles on each of the points! Over the course of the next few weeks, that’s exactly what you’ll find on The Leadership Projects. Continue to live and learn these principles as a way to exercise leadership in your daily life.
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