Develop your leadership presence and improve your leadership skills.
One of the most important ways to increase your presence as a leader and improve your leadership skills is to become a strong communicator. You want to inspire your colleagues or your team with clarity and self-confidence. It’s one of the most important ingredients for getting your point across and executing your agenda to peers and executives, as well as to customers and partners.
Here are 5 tips for powerful communication from Anne Ricketts, Founder of Lighthouse Communications:
1. React, don’t react.
Before you communicate, whether it’s in an email or in response to feedback someone just gave you, take a deep breath and think about what you want to say before you start speaking or writing a reply. A mindful breath and a pause give you the space to respond, not react. This is important for everyone, especially because we are all overwhelmed and everything is happening so quickly. A little pause and a quick breath before communicating goes a long way in ensuring you’re communicating powerfully and not just reacting in a way you might later regret.
2. Get to the point.
One of the biggest communication challenges people face is taking too long to get to the point. And the harsh reality is that when women do this, they are often interrupted – more often than our male counterparts. If you want to reduce the number of interruptions, be concise. Here are two frameworks to help with this:
- PRE (point, reason, example): What are you getting at? Why is it important? What is an example?
- What? So what? What now?: What are you getting at? Why is it important? What should we do as a result? What is the next step?
3. Take up space.
Unfortunately, women are told their entire lives to make themselves smaller. Think about it: we’re sitting cross-legged. We cross our arms. We literally withdraw into ourselves. We must be aware of this and learn to take up more space. To exude confidence, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, move about the room, and make open gestures. Research shows that there is a connection between confident body language and actual self-esteem. Also, remember to take up space with your voice. Got a nice powerful volume. One thing you can do is stand up when you are giving a presentation. You will be above everyone. And you will get more attention that way.
4. Don’t demean yourself with excuses or disclaimers.
Common things you probably hear constantly in the workplace are: “I don’t really like presenting,” “Let me go through this before I bore you,” and “I’m sorry, but I have something to say.” Sorry himself not.
Instead say, “I have something to add; When would be a good time to talk?’ It’s a small thing, but an apology can show that you’re not confident. A simple way to reduce apologies or disclaimers is to tell colleagues or friends that you are working on improvements in this area and ask them for feedback. When others hold you responsible for it, you become more aware when you apologize unnecessarily and can break the pattern.
5. Avoid uptalk.
Uptalk means ending your sentence as if it were a question with increasing emphasis, which lets others know that you are unsure of what you are saying. There’s a big difference in the sense of confidence and credibility you exude when you avoid open discussion. Concentrate on emphasizing words within the sentence and not at the end.
Hope you find these 5 tools helpful in making you a more powerful communicator. These are simple tools that require a little attention and practice, but you’ll soon see positive changes in your communication skills.