Authentic Leaders know that they lead by example. Lesser leaders lead by example too, it’s just that they frequently don’t realize it. Both Authentic and lesser leaders know that effective communication is an essential tool of leadership. The difference is, Authentic Leaders talk with the people they lead and lesser leaders talk to the people they try to lead.
Many leaders also often forget that communication is made up of three parts. Talking and listening are the first two parts. Authentic Leaders listen at least as much as they talk. Lesser Leaders usually talk a lot more than they listen.
But it’s the third part of communication that is most often forgotten by both Authentic and Lesser Leaders. What separates the two groups is that Authentic Leaders forget the third leg of effective communication less than other leaders.
The third leg of effective communication is action. As in, “walking your talk.”
So let me ask you this. Do your actions match the words that come out of your mouth? Do you expect your people to do as you say? If you do, and your words and actions don’t match, you’ll have a very difficult time ever gaining the commitment of your people. That’s important because absent that commitment you will be unable to ever get your people to fully follow you.
It is vital if you hope to effectively lead that you understand this basic fact of leadership. Your people will do what you do 10,000 times faster than they will do what you say. When you say something to the people you lead then you have completed part one of the communication process. When your people hear what you have said (Authentic Leaders by the way, verify with their people that what they said was what their people heard) then part two has been completed. That’s where many leaders stop. They forget about part three.
After your people hear what you said they begin “listening” with their eyes. They want to see if what you said is what you do. They want to see if your actions match the actions you asked them to take. They what to see if the policies you just asked them to follow will also be followed by you.
What they see after listening has much more impact than what they heard while listening.
When there is a gap between what was heard and what was seen there will be a corresponding gap in the credibility of the leader. That gap separates a leader from the people they are trying to lead. That lack of credibility in one area causes gaps of credible in every area.
That’s why it is so vital that anyone hoping to be an Authentic Leader realize that there are three parts to the communication process. The part most often forgotten may be the most important one.
If you want to earn the right to Authentically Lead and the commitment of your people that comes with that right, then your words and actions much match. It’s as simple as that. It’s as challenging as that.
If you have the discipline to match your words with actions then you have the discipline to change the lives of the people you lead in a very positive way. So before you say something have a plan for how you’ll “show” the same thing.
On a another note… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”
My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there.
You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.
2 thoughts on “The Forgotten Part of Communication ”
So very true. Communication has to be two way. You and the recipient/(s). It is important to check for clarification (understanding). I always reiterate what the action steps will be so that we both understand what is to occur. With elementary students I always say, “Am I clear… crystal clear?” I have them repeat it back to me!!! Bo