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How to Best Communicate your Message

How to Best Communicate Your Message

How to Best Communicate Your Message

It is vital we all communicate effectively, especially in troubling times.

What are the key characteristics of effective leadership communication?

Above all, effective leadership communication is:

  • Clear,
  • Rational,
  • Positive.

1. Clear.

Strive only to use precise, accurate, definite, unequivocal language.

Your wording should be such that it implies only ONE possible interpretation; and is thus less likely to be misunderstood, (or misrepresented by your opponents).

2. Rational.

Treat all people and all problems according to the principles of REASON.

Everything you do and say should be rational (logical); which means evidenced based, well-structured and designed to achieve a definite purpose.

Do nothing that is UNREASONABLE. That means; never guess or act arbitrarily, on a whim or a transient emotion.

If you are seen to be acting arbitrarily, over emotionally or unreasonably, then you become vulnerable to (justifiable) criticism.

You should be able to demonstrate that everything you do and say has a logic to it.

In addition to logic you need positive emotion.

3. Positive.

The distinguishing characteristic of leadership language, is that it inspires positive emotions.

In times of trouble, the vast majority of people fall into negative emotional states, (fear, anxiety, stress, despair and depression).

The purpose of effective leadership communication is to reduce fear and to replace it with confidence.

Confidence is vital.

  • What happens to a football team if the players lose confidence?
  • What happens to a currency if investors lose confidence in it?
  • What happens to a government if the voters lose confidence in it?
  • Without confidence, people fail.

Your task as a leader is to inspire confidence in the minds of others.

Your task is NOT to instil fear.

  • Fear destroys confidence.
  • Fear destroys jobs.
  • Fear destroys mental health and productivity.
  • Fear drives irrational behaviour.
  • Fear drives a collapse of the economy.

In an attempt to motivate people, too many people are promoting fear.

It is counter-productive to induce too much fear, since the additional problems caused by fear and panic far outweigh the original problem.

Your mission is NOT to paint worst-case scenarios to induce panic and dread. That would make a bad situation worse.

Instead, you should make a rational and logical evaluation of all the available evidence, and then add to it your own sense of rational optimism.

What is the communication style in common use today?

Much of what passes for leadership communication today is the OPPOSITE of what we need.

A lot of communication today is:

  • Unclear.
  • Irrational (illogical).
  • Full of negative emotions.

Unclear: Many voices all saying different things.

Irrational: Many voices making illogical connections, claims and predictions, based upon untested assumptions.

Negative emotions: Statements that are certain to invoke feelings of fear, terror, panic, stress, despair and depression.

Consequently, we are seeing the effects of the fear adding to the original problem and making the situation worse.

Our communication should be the epitome of clear, rational and positive leadership.

The public expect and deserve a leadership style that oozes:

  • Clarity.
  • Rationality.
  • Positivity.

If you want a case study, listen to Winston Churchill speaking in the dark days of June 1940:

"I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm.... At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do.

That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government. That is the will of Parliament and the nation".

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