“People hear what they want to hear…” I am sure that those words have often been uttered to excuse the occasional miscommunication in the workplace. A manager’s worst nightmare – people walk away from a meeting with 17 different interpretations of the messages delivered in said meeting. And there were only fifteen people in the room!!
Great leaders tend to have one feature in common amongst them. They are ALL excellent communicators. Sure, there are other traits that many great leaders possess, but to command a following that catapults the leader to a mega-status, effective, clear and concise COMMUNICATION is vital!! This means that people get it – they get the messages that the leader sends. The leader understands this concept of “people hear what they want to hear” and uses this when the messages are crafted. If people have high morale and are upbeat, they tend to hear only positives in the message; conversely, if people are down and feel that morale is low, they tend to hear only the negatives or worse, they tend to turn positive messages into negative messages. Tune into your people and fine tune your message to minimize the temptation for misinterpretation. Be honest, objective and straight with your message and your leadership ability will begin to flourish right before the many eyes that are fixed on you, edge of their seats and clinging to your every word.
Whether the message is to relay new information or to review information that has already been shared, people must know why they need to know the information. Frame the crafted message through the ears and minds and hearts of the receivers of the message and put the message in the context that is meaningful to your audience. Ears, minds and hearts…that is the pathway to true comprehension of the message. The message enters the ear, registers in the brain and must evoke an emotion for the recipient to be able to fully digest this information and have the ability to recall this information; and more importantly to use the information.
So we know how important effective communication is to effective leadership. Take the time to know your message and know how your audience must receive that message for it to be put into positive action. Sounds simple, yet if you wrestle with communication dilemmas on a daily basis, you know that it is not. Please comment below to suggest ways to improve communication. I hope you have enjoyed the post. Have a great day and do great things!