You know your authentic self, you’ve been working on emotional maturity, you’ve committed to constant learning… communication is sharing this with the world.

Communication is how we take what’s going on in our head and share that with others. Every action we take is communication, although I’ll focus verbal and written communication below. Your actions need to align with your words, and if you’re authentic and emotionally stable they will.

You own the impact and message. This means that you have an intended response from your audience and how you relate that information is owned exclusively by you. What do they need in order to understand your intended message?

You can’t excuse their lack of understanding blindly. It’s your responsibility to know what they need. They may need more detail, simpler words, data, the vision, a story to unfold, empathy, bluntness… and each person will need something different.

  • What’s your intent? You’re communicating for a reason, to get a point across. Do you have a specific outcome in mind? Are you just sharing information, or does action need to be taken? Can you visualize what you want your audience to say or do once you’ve communicated?  Understanding your intent is key to effective communication. If you don’t know what you intend, how will they?
  • Relate. What does this mean to your audience? This will differ per audience and topic. Relating to them will allow you to take your intent and weave the right message for their consumption.
  • Respect. Understand they are humans with fears, goals, and a life of their own. Starting any type of communication without respect is doomed to fail. DOOMED! Sorry, it just sounded so ominous in my head as I typed it. I digress. You may or may not actually respect these people, but that is irrelevant. I’m referring to your respect of them as your audience. This differs in relating to them, which is attempting to understanding their filters and communication style, you’re respecting their current state of being.
  • Release. Release your own fears, check your intent once more, and take action in communicating your message. This may be words you speak, words you type, actions you take.

I haven’t mentioned “listening” specifically, but it’s implied. One cannot relate to others and respect them as an audience without knowing and expecting a feedback process. This feedback from your audience includes verbal and non-verbal clues. You’re listening to their words while watching their actions. You’re absorbing, and only absorbing, then you reflect on what they communicated, relate, respect, and release again. It’s much like decision making: assess/reflect/decide/take action.

Here are some other articles on communication:

This is the final article on the Resilience In Leadership series. It’s a part fo the Executive Coaching program I offer, for individuals and small groups. If you’d like more information please contact us today.