The art of communication is undervalued.
“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.”
— Gilbert Amelio
President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp.
How we think we communicate is not always the way the message is interpreted.
In my role as a coach for business executives, I often speak with frustrated CEO’s that find it difficult to communicate with people on all levels. It is also a human trait that what we say, is not always the exact meaning we intend to convey.
Poor communication is a common problem in a business setting. CEO’s find their original message is not accurately passed down to operations and employees complain that there are no clear instructions.
Problems arise from two principle areas: speakers and listeners. When the person doing the talking does not know how to convey their message, what they want to say can easily be misinterpreted by the listener.
And listeners contribute to the problem by failing to listen completely. It is human nature to jump to conclusions before the message is fully delivered, or we assume we know what the speaker is saying.
When misunderstandings arise, the focus of attention is different and conflicts arise. Conflicts are typically exacerbated because tend to stick by their principles to save face.
Overcoming communication problems
Leaders must be able to effectively communicate a vision in order to drive business results. Not only do you have to make your message clear, but it has to influence and motivate your staff to take action.
In corporate settings, I find the fundamental root of the problem is because communication is considered a ‘soft’ skill and is a discipline that is often undercooked in CEO training.
Although communication is a two-way process, being self aware of how others interpret you is the only way to start improving your skills. To do this you need a professional coach that can assess both your written and spoken powers of communication.
Some people naturally have the ‘gift of the gab’ and can confidently tell a story or convey their meaning to others in relatively simple terms. But this is a rarity. However, you don’t have to be a naturally gifted speaker to communicate well.
Developing a style that works best for you is something anybody can learn, and if you do struggle to get your message across in a way that is understood through varying levels of the hierarchy, communication coaching could be right for you.
Scientific research shows that mastering a voice and using non-verbal communication through body language and facial expressions improves your ability to overcome the challenges of communication in all areas of your life.
Developing and improving your communication skills helps build better relations in your work life, your social life and the relationships you have with family and friends.
If you or any member of your executive team have challenges with any area of communication, then get in touch to discover how this could be resolved with our support.