Being a leader means understanding your words and the power they hold. Your words are as powerful as the actions you take. This is because everything you say and do is being watched, dissected, and emulated by others. How you communicate represents who you are to others and informs what you think about yourself.
Many leaders have experienced a rut in which their frustration manifests in communicating and acting mindlessly and working on a short fuse. The conversations they have with people feel unfulfilling at the least and like punishment at the worst.
It is important to learn how to communicate effectively and powerfully and it is like training for a marathon. Every conversation you have with someone is a practice of building endurance. When you practice, be mindful of what is working and what is not working. The goal here is to run the best race you can without injuring yourself and making it to the finish line.
There is a powerful factor in person-to-person communication, but what you must determine first is what your emotional state really is. Below you will find tips on how to transform how you communicate with yourself and others.
Start with the four fundamentals. We were never born to communicate, only to talk. When communicating focus on being respectful, kind, gentle, and helpful.
Listen to the words you use. Start to realize what words come out of your mouth and what your reactions are to other people. Do this by taking note of the Emotional Intelligence practice and try really hard to observe the words you sue when you talk to yourself. Look for common patterns or themes. For example, if you use the phrase “I’m sorry” when you haven’t done or said anything that warrants an apology.
Listen to the words others speak. Try to remember that communicating is not about forcing your opinion on someone or trying to fix anyone. Learn to listen to the people you have conversations with. While you do so, take notice of how they allow their emotions to manifest. You may find it difficult to keep your mind quiet enough to be truly engaged throughout the conversation, try your hardest.
Speak consciously, concisely, and clearly. People more than not, say more than they need to be saying. The best communicators choose their words wisely. Only the most essential and specific words will make the cut. When someone is vague, it will only confuse the listener.