“Of every noble work the silent part is best, Of all expression that which can not be expressed” – William Wetmore Story
What we intend to communicate are the meanings our listeners hear.
Every leader has something to say – yet, how many leaders tell those tales that need to be told?
1) Are leaders using the wrong words?
2) Are their words conveying the wrong things?
3) Do they intentionally mean the wrong things?
I believe our leadership communication problem involves an element of all three.
We hear about leaders in all kinds of endeavors and all walks of life saying they are being:
It’s time to focus on the purposes of a leader’s speech – we should first ask ourselves ‘why’ leaders need to communicate before we attempt to understand what they need to say.
Communicate for Clarity! It’s Imperative, Important & Immediate, So Say It!
the integrity, consistency and clarity of your own or the collective group’s agreed-upon
=> intent, purpose, mission, vision, meanings, beliefs, values, relationships and views
“Truth is the secret of eloquence and of virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and of life” – Henri Frédéric Amiel
Clarity is the consistent communication of truth, purpose and integrity!
Communicate for Commitment! Ask for Their Hope, Faith and Acceptance!
To ensure their commitment, you must
-> facilitate, offer, negotiate and orchestrate the quality, quantity and worthiness of your people’s
- trust, emotional investments, common bonds, cultural ties, franchise, loyalty, agreements, engagements, obligations, pledges and covenants
Your meanings, words and intentions must include a serious consideration of their
- need for retreat, current positions and stances, their privileges and rights, reputation and goodwill, and craving or hopes for glory.
“Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh, that is to say over fear: fear of poverty, of suffering, of calumny, of illness, of loneliness and of death. There is no real piety without heroism.” – Henri Frédéric Amiel
There is no real heroism without courage. There is no real courage without commitment!
Communicate for Competence! Build It, Strengthen It, Grow It!
Elevate the competence of your people and their work
-> develop, discover, evaluate and strengthen the amount, impact and relevance of the team’s
- talents, skills, performances, capabilities, momentum, transcendence, quantum leaps and improvements, capacities, influences, proficiencies, merits, literacy, adaptations and transformations, suitability, deeds or accomplishments, contributions and investments of time, energies and ideas.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em” – William Shakespeare
The good leader finds and allows greatness to blossom, the better leader encourages greatness to rise-up and assert itself, the greatest leader puts the ordinary into direct contact with greatness!
Use these 3 “C”s in your written and oral, formal or informal communications. You’ll see others respond to your ideas and follow your instructions with more enthusiasm.
I sometimes advise leaders to state the purpose of their words first, then provide more details to their audience. For example, tell them you want their commitment, then tell them why you need it and what you hope to achieve with it.
When it comes to poor or weak communications, don’t be a victim or perpetrator!
Use your leadership opportunities to clearly, passionately and capably communicate your true intentions – you can do it because you want to, you believe you can and you are capable of doing it well!
“Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.” – Count Leo Tolstoy
Use the art of purposeful leadership communications to elevate, encourage and empower your people to superior levels of performance!
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!