Last week we discussed why it is important to communicate intentionally. You set the intentions around your communications, so this week let’s take a look at how you can put those intentional communications into practice. Although these points may seem obvious, I hope these reminders help ensure you are always intentional in your communications:
1. Be Conscious – As a leader, you are responsible for being aware of how you communicate and the effects it has on others. If you want to generate positive business results, your communications need to contain everything your audience needs to support you. Ensure your messaging is complete by anticipating questions in advance and always make sure you think through the unintended consequences of your communications. Finally, consider crafting your message with the five W’s and one H in mind (i.e., who, what, when, where, why & how).
2. Be Concise - Make sure you include all pertinent facts in the fewest possible words. Your messaging should include only those facts relevant to your purpose. A succinct message helps emphasize important points and saves costly time for both you and your recipients.
3. Be Concrete - Good solid writing & speaking includes specific facts & figures… along with clear, relatable examples. To help make messages more vivid, incorporate stories, comparisons and figurative language that will help others to more clearly comprehend your intent.
4. Be Clear - Make your message clear by using words that are familiar to your audience (both written and spoken). Aim for unity and coherence in your communications. Have an average sentence length of around 17-20 words & average paragraph length of 4-5 lines. To make figures stand out clearly you may want to present them in a graphical format, making the information both easy to read and understand.
5. Be Considerate - Always provide others with the same objectivity & sincerity you would like to receive. As a courteous leader, you need to always communicate in a tactful, thoughtful, & appreciative way. Be genuinely thoughtful of the recipients of your message & consider the likely reactions to your communications. In both the written & spoken message, courtesy requires that you omit any communications that may offend, irritate, or belittle any of your constituents. If you should unintentionally breach this etiquette, apologize good-naturedly and clarify your point in a non-offensive way. Most important of all, never forget that how you communicate is just as important (if not more important) as what you communicate.
As leaders, communications are our single best tool to achieve what we most desire, however it is easy to forget some fundamental tenets of success. If you communicate within some basic rules of engagement, you stand to increase your odds of success exponentially.
What are some tools you use to communicate intentionally?
I would love for you to engage the discussion and let us know how you will intentionally communicate within your organization. Please feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back next week for the next installment of Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.