Everything we do these days starts with communication and, for the most part, ends with it. Therefore, we need to recognize the importance of communicating effectively. Connecting with people is one of the biggest tasks for a leader, and the best methods of communication should not be ignored. Experts say that 7% of human communication comes from words, 38% is from a person’s tone of voice, and 55% comes from body language.
Context. The way you deliver the message. It matters most when it comes to leadership and meaningful connections. Also known as paralanguage, it is nonverbal communication, which can be broken down into a few categories: eye contact, gesticulations, posture, overall facial expression, and state of emotion (anger, fear, confidence, etc.). People interpret specific actions as having specific meanings, so it’s important to learn how to communicate skillfully.
Consultant and former senior executive Steve Tobak has the following tips for effective message delivery:
- Look people straight in the eye and really “see” them.
- Be direct and genuine.
- Remember that executive presence isn’t about power and domination.
- Learn to be a storyteller.
- Increase your self-awareness.
For more on this topic, please refer to Steve Tobak’s article on BNET.
Other factors that play roles in effective communication are:
- Culture – Past experiences can be valuable in understanding something new.
- Noise – Environmental noise could mess up the message delivery.
- Perception – Talking too fast might affect the listener’s concentration.
- Message – Focus on the big idea, not just the facts.
- Environment – The lighting in the room could cause distraction.
- Stress – Being stressed is not an option when trying to connect with others.
- Ourselves – Ego and an air of superiority won’t get you far; focus on the person in front of you.
Do you have any stories to share on effective communication?
Author: Marina Kaljaj