“People are like colours, you need to be a rainbow”
Team diversity and the need to shape and shift your message to communicate effectively is a given. Being an effective communicator is imperative to your leadership success and a skill worth investing the time in to master and not just manage. Every interaction you have is with someone with a different view of the world, never assume people see, hear or feel things the way you do.
As a leader we need to step back and ask the honest question “Am I getting the response I need?” Although you may have communicated what you believe is a clearly constructed message unless you are getting back the response you are after you need to change something.
Your message is communicated through many factors including your words, posture, stance, voice inflection, silence, gestures, tone, pitch and pace. Even the loudness or the softness of your voice can change your message to mean something quite different than you set out to communicate. The common aphorism relating to this says “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”
Think of casually asking your team to be on time to a meeting to asking them in a more formal forum with a deeper tone and voice projection?
Be open to change and shift one or some of the variables that make up your message until you get the desired response you are after.
A few shape shifting ideas:
Tone: If you are motivating someone lagging behind to be more upbeat then project your message with a bit of “Oomph” instead of matching their laid back approach and encouraging more of what you don’t want.
Pace: Speaking more quickly can convey a sense of urgency when you need to have a task done. It creates energy behind the action you are focusing on. Make your pace congruent with your message.
Words: “Be a bit more like John” as I say. If John uses big words match a few, if he speaks in detail and you don’t then match him halfway. Matching similar words and the “chunk” size of information, large or small, can subconsciously change your message and how it is received.
Environment: If you are communicating the same message in the same room sitting at the same boardroom table change it! I always think of open plan offices (which I love) where people seem to have certain types of conversations always in the same place. Change it up and see what happens!
Physically match your message: Be an observer of you…that’s right…disassociate yourself and look at how you are standing, leaning and what your gestures and expressions are conveying. Are they in line with your message?
Stay open, be flexible and adaptable, people are like colours, you need to be a rainbow! Have fun with this and build your shape shifting muscle and leadership at the same time.
Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished Lead Coach, Trainer and Keynote Speaker who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations. She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation and performance. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioral change around leadership, communication, transition and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.
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