Are you challenged with communicating to your team or colleagues, but don’t have the time to attend a costly, time-consuming workshop? Here’s 3 easy ways to build your communications skills without attending a workshop or reading a 250 page book (which by the time you finish reading it, you forget what you read).
Communication skill builder #1: Always start with an intention:
Anything we start, including communication skills, usually has reason and a starting point. While we become conscious about this fact for the obvious things like brushing our teeth to avoid tooth decay, we forget to give the same importance to our communication. We start talking, go through all the niceties and then some how stumble upon the reason for conversation or make it up by that time.
The problem with this approach is that the message looses its power. If you keep doing this often, you loose the power to bring it to work when needed. As a soldier polishes and keeps his guns fit even during peacetime, we have to keep our arsenal of communication skills handy to use, when required.
Communication skill builder #2: Develop flexibility in language and in approach:
Most leaders will think being flexible means using all the words in the dictionary, not so. Having a good vocabulary does not mean that your team have to run for a dictionary every time you speak. Instead, a good vocabulary means that you have created enough choices and variety in your language to suit the listening requirements of most people.
Flexibility is also needed in your approach to communication. Thus, try modulating your voice as you communicate. Raise and lower your voice at the right intervals. After you do this for a while, notice how you naturally are modulating your voice and how you find it easy to choose from different tones and tonality.
Communication skill builder #3: Forget techniques and learn the principles:
A lot of leaders are fond of using something called a Sandwich technique. It is situation where you slip in a negative comment or feedback layered in between two positive comments. Yes, I practice this feedback technique. It is a good technique no doubt. However, if you repeat it to your team too often, it means you are not capable of innovating. People get conditioned to any one particular behavior over time and so the technique loses its impact. Therefore, learn other communication techniques that are just as effective. One suggestion, try the direct approach. It requires you to confront the issue as soon as it becomes apparent. You conversation would include comments like: “I’m concerned you are not hearing me, and I not sure what else to do. Do you have any suggestions?”
To be an effective woman leader who has strong communication skills, always start with an intention in your mind. Once you master this, your level of influence will increase rapidly. Take away your focus on techniques and learn the principles. This way you tap the source of power itself rather than a branch. The last and most importantly, develop flexibility in your language and approach. It will maximize your capacity to reach your audience and thus your power.
(c) 2013 Karlyn D. Henderson, M.A. All rights reserved worldwide.