Leadership communication is a topic that I focus on with many of my clients so I’m always on the look out for experiences and material that I can use with them.
I came across an excellent video the other day about leadership communication called ‘The Key to Powerful Leadership Communication’.
The main message of the video was that leaders speak in three dimensions:
I knew that leaders often speak in threes – making three points related to a topic or describing something using three adjectives for example. But it was the first time I’d come across this concept of speaking in three dimensions. Yet it’s absolutely true.
Let’s dive into what each dimension actually means for your communication.
The personal dimension is all about connection. And let’s face it, if you’re not connecting when you communicate, you’re not communicating at all.
To connect follow these guidelines:
- Listen actively – focus completely on the speaker, rather than what you plan to say next.
- Find out in advance what is important to the person/people you’re speaking to
- Use language that is familiar to your audience
- Look for moments when you can show empathy
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The dimension of the future is about how leaders are constantly referring to a future that is better than today. They often say that the definition of a leader is that he/she has followers. And it is a natural instinct to want to follow someone who sees the future clearly and is realistically optimistic about that future.
How much do you talk about a better future with the people in your environment?
Finally, leaders communicate via stories.
Communicating using stories is very powerful. Stories were perhaps one of the first channels of communication because of how easily we remember them. Research into how the brain reacts when hearing a story shows that up to seven areas are activated, whereas only two areas are activated when we hear facts and statistics.
But leaders do something different with their stories. They choose relevant stories where the listener has an important role to play. This approach not only engages the listener but it also inspires the listener to act. Stories are really one of the most persuasive channels of communication.
Take a moment to think about your typical communication topics and scenarios at work.
Can you remember any experiences that you and your colleagues or clients have shared in the past? Can these experiences be used to shed light on an issue that you’re facing at the moment?
Learning to speak like a leader is part of your management development.
Embrace these three dimensions of leadership speaking – personal, future and story and you will stand out as an emerging leader.
Watch the video ‘The Key to Powerful Leadership Communication’.