Every great leader is a great communicator. Great leaders are intentional about their communication. They know how they show up matters, every single day. They strive to form connections with others. They influence and inspire others to do their best. Master these ways successful people communicate and watch your leadership skills soar.
1. They Are Skilled at Reading Body Language
Successful communicators know that posture doesn’t always provide good indications about someone’s feelings. Instead, they learn to pick up on subtle cues. They are experts at picking up on micro expressions, which are very brief facial expressions that occur when people conceal their feelings. Excellent communicators have learned to read these very slight facial cues that last only a fraction of a second. They tailor their messages as they go, based on these tiny cues, in order to maximize their influence. Dr. Paul Ekman, a prominent psychologist and researcher, has studied nonverbal behavior and has developed a training program to read micro expressions. Check out www.paulekman.com to learn more.
2. They Are Honest
Great leaders know that information full of half-truths causes mistrust. They are honest with others. When they’re unable to share classified information, they say exactly that. When they are able to relay messages, they give concise and clear messages without a bunch of fluff.
3. They Don’t Micromanage
Great communicators don’t demand control of the details. They delegate effectively. They instill a sense of confidence in others, empowering them to do their best. They are positive and encouraging. They enable others to expand beyond their comfort zones to achieve their goals.
4. They Don’t Waste Other People’s Time
Excellent communicators don’t hold meetings just for the sake of holding meetings. They understand the value of someone else’s time. They inform others of their clear agendas and specific goals for each meeting they lead.
5. They Hold Themselves Accountable
The best leaders know they’re not perfect. They don’t wait for the general public to discover their blunders before admitting them. They don’t conceal when they’ve wronged others. Great communicators say things like “I’m sorry,” and “It was my fault.”
6. They Give Credit
Great communicators give credit where it’s due. They know the significance of making others feel valued, important, and appreciated. They take time to thank others privately and publicly.
7. They Speak with Confidence
Successful leaders speak with authority and confidence. They understand the value of appropriate tone and effectively timed pauses. They don’t bury their heads in the sand when tough messages need to be delivered. They deliver information powerfully, tactfully, and poised.
8. They Are Excellent Listeners
Great leaders have mastered their listening skills. They are actively engaged in every conversation. They don’t let their minds wander when someone is talking to them. They focus on understanding what the other person is saying instead of thinking about what they’re going to say next.
9. They Ask Questions
The best communicators ask questions to make sure they’ve heard someone’s message correctly. They realize pertinent information can get lost if it’s not fully understood, so they ask for clarification when needed. They also realize they don’t have all the answers on every subject.They recognize when they need the expertise of others, and ask questions for guidance when appropriate.
10. They Invest in Others
Great leaders strive to learn what motivates and inspires others. They invest time and energy into learning what lights people on fire. They know that building up someone’s strengths and fueling their passion promotes innovation. Successful communicators cultivate an environment where others can maximize their natural talents as they work toward achieving their goals.
Successful people have mastered the art of communication. They value honesty and authenticity in relationships. They lead with intention and clarity and fully understand the importance of excellent communication. By developing your communication skills, your success will soar.
Featured photo credit: Steve Jurvetson/Planet Explorers debut with Will Marshall’s TED Talk via flickr.com