If you want to become a leader in your business or career (who doesn’t?), a lot of it comes down to communication.
Even though actions speak louder than words, getting noticed for your fantastic self still does involve getting your point across correctly. To inspire others and stand out from the crowd, you need to communicate like a leader.
We have some easy ways to start – here’s how to communicate like a leader inside and outside the office to boost your success:
The most effective communication tool actually has nothing to do with speaking or word choices. It’s a big misconception that leadership involves talking other’s ears off, so this point is overlooked by most.
Studies have shown that listening, the right way, will increase others’ trust in you and allow you to motivate and inspire others. They even found that effective listening accounted for 40% of leadership success.
During a long board meeting or speech it’s very easy to “listen” by just being there. But this is no way to actually retain information, and more often than not, people can tell if you’re sitting there with your eyes glazed over while dreaming about a trip to a tropical island.
Look no further than active listening – a tool that many point to as the make-or-break factor for communication.
By actively listening, you’re not only understanding the information, but you’re letting the person speaking to you know that as well. Some easy ways to start doing this are to repeat back what you’re hearing, to show that you’re listening (like nodding), or to provide feedback.
Remember, we’re all goldfish
Besides listening, the other important way to communicate like a leader is to get others to listen to you. Getting back to board meetings – there’s a reason you start dreaming about a tropical island part way through: it’s your attention span. Some studies even suggest that ours are limited to about 8 seconds.
Take a note from Steve Jobs, who famously said that “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint”, and would limit his famous Apple speeches to under ten minutes before passing the microphone to someone else. He might have been an interesting guy, but even Jobs knew he had to be short and sweet to keep the audience glued.
You can do the same thing. Start by asking yourself “do I need to say all of this?” Consider sticking to a few of the most important talking points instead of covering all of them. And if you need to speak for more than ten minutes, consider breaking it up into two meetings.
“When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.”
That’s part of a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, which suggests speaking with a “superhero pose” to communicate like a leader. Her talk, which has been viewed over 30 million times, recommends standing tall with your arms out and posed on your hips as a way to start.
Even though this might seem intimidating, realize that standing tall not only makes you look confident, but it releases a surge of chemicals that make you feel more confident. By standing like a superhero, you won’t only feel like one, but people will think you’re a Wonder Woman and have their attention glued to you.
Communicate with us
Flex your communication skills by sharing your tips with the Tribe. And practice listening by checking out some of their wonderful tips too.