"Sooth 't were a pleasant life to lead,
With nothing in the world to do
But just to blow a shepherd's reed,
The silent season thro'
And just to drive a flock to feed,-
Sheep - quiet, fond and few!"
- Laman Blanchard
Communication skills give leaders ways to connect with, understand and influence the needs of people. It would be so very pleasant to live the life depicted in Blanchard's musings.
Even though leadership combines the roles of shepherd, steward and orchestral conductor, people are not sheep, people do not dance to every tune, people will not feed on any old meal.
The primary leadership activity involves using organizational communications processes to establish relationships, garner commitment, advise and counsel and educate or develop their people.
Grow Relationships, Make Commitments
"Nature has given us two ears but only one mouth."
- Benjamin Disraeli
However, God actually affirms, "death and life are in the power of the tongue". The meaning of that sentence is simply this - we should open our mouths and say [write or type] whatever it is that we want to bring into existence!
Wise leaders use their words to convey their most essential, important and useful thoughts - otherwise, leaders listen for the clues, pains, hopes and boundaries being communicated by others.
Powerful leaders tend to say profoundly meaningful things that will engage, connect and commit people to their cause.
Advise and Counsel by Discovering
"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery." - Samuel Smiles
You can easily learn new things by using everyday organizational communications processes such as meetings, briefings, presentations, forums, discussions, written exchanges, casual conversations, reviews and coaching or consulting sessions.
Just how are leaders supposed to know what is profound or meaningful to other people?
People usually find ways to communicate those needs, desires and fears that are most important to them. People will always reveal those feelings or thoughts about themselves through their spoken, written and unspoken communications.
By asking how, what, why, when, with whom or where a person is doing something, you can glean much information about them and their impressions and preferences.
Educate, Develop and Train One Byte At A Time
"Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round."
- Josiah Gilbert Holland
Investing your time and energy into listening to others will help you learn more about their concerns, hopes and guiding beliefs.
You can incorporate the leadership activities, communication skills and organizational communications processes previously mentioned to help your people and yourself:
- Learn by structured doing [training]
- Learn by practicing and assessing [developing]
- Learn by experimenting, exploring and discussing [educating]
Be the leader other people appreciate and look forward to communicating with - master these skills and watch your associates grow, flourish and succeed.
Mustard Seed Investments Inc., Copyright ? 2005, All rights reserved.
Bill Thomas provides helpful guidance through the "Leadership-UltraNet!" - an affordable, guaranteed, leadership skills training program featuring personal attention, comprehensive resources and follow-up support for your growth.
Learn how the UltraNet! empowers your Leadership performance today, in every way!