As a member of a global entrepreneurship organisation, I am constantly interacting with leaders from all corners of the globe . And through these encounters I’ve come to realise that each leader has his or her own approach to leadership, running their businesses and interacting with their teams. People from different countries have different cultures and this has an impact on how they lead. None of us are right or wrong, we’re just different.
The key is that each leader speaks the same “language” as their team.
Allow me to explain.
I recently watched a documentary about specialised riggers in the US who come up with the most creative ways to get their job done. One aspect of this saw them developing their own unique language. In critical situations they simplify their messages because they simply don’t have the time to say something that could be unclear. They have come up with code words that mean different things. They’ll shout “boom boom” when something must be lowered, for example. The kind of work they do is far from easy and it’s stressful but because they communicate so clearly they somehow always manage to remain calm. As a team, their special language guarantees that there is never any miscommunication.
As is the case in so many areas of life, communication is critical aspect of successful leadership.
And I’m not just talking about being a confident public speaker. In general, the role of a good public speaker is to be liked, while an accomplished communicator seeks to connect with and understand their audience. Sure, great orators have the ability to inspire their workforces. But it’s not only about having the loudest voice or being the most accomplished speaker. Some leaders have smaller voices but they use their words – and their special language – to get the most powerful messages across.
Just as it is vital for leaders and their teams to be good at communicating with each other, it’s equally important that leaders are good listeners. We often forget that communication is a two way street and what you say is just as important as what you hear and how you react to that feedback.
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