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Effective Communication – the Dominant Art to Leadership

Can you ever imagine a Nation to be ruled by gestures with words residing in the minds of the leaders in silence? Words are indeed the seriously significant tool to run any organization. Yet, words unexpressed lose the importance of their existence. And, a leader unable to express his words effectively, would be certainly turned down by the Nation or the organization. Effective Communication, therefore is the dominant art, a leader must master in.

If we go through the tips suggested by the great leaders to become a successful leader, we can summarize the points as:

Vision, passion, innovation, creation, collaboration, Enthusiasm and Confidence grabbing the first attention.

However, the qualities mentioned above would be futile without Effective Communication. Confidence at its best is presented through the art of Communication- the key to develop the ability to connect with every individual in an organization or a team. The vision, if stays in the mind without being able to practically put forth to activate with passion on ground, would be a blind vision. The innovation to be carried out in creating something unique certainly needs the collaboration of the entire team involved, and without being able to express the vision to the entire team with clarity, collaboration would be a cacophony. Enthusiasm builds confidence and confidence helps to command; however, enthusiasm must be projected to make each and every individual ina team enthusiast in carrying out any project. Projection would be possible only through an Effective Communication. Confidence can never be gained through silence. Projection through active communication determines confidence.

Hence, the foremost tool we need to possess to become a successful leader is the art of speaking-the art of communication.

Mastering in the Communication Skills is not an overnight journey. A leader is not born suddenly; he toils and experiences a sleepless journey to grow and prove his capabilities to lead an organization towards success. This growth is a process-the process of making a leader or being a leader. A leader has to put his ideas into words, and express and exchange his ideas with the team to be followed by the members of the organization.Communication may be verbal or non-verbal.

Let us explore the factors playing an important role in making a communication process effective:

  1. Language plays an important role in making a communication process effective.An aspiring leader must work on the language s/he desires or requires to communicate with his team. A flawless language is a winning sign to an effective communication. Mastery over the language builds confidence, thereby defeating all fears to speak and share ideas and information. A leader must know the difference between a formal and casual use of language.

How do we make ourselves near to perfect in acquiring Language Skills?

  1. Read: Read in order to speak.Reading enhances vocabulary, and thereby helps to make formal communication effective. It helps to follow proper sentence construction with the enhancement of thinking ability and thus benefits in the art of expression either verbal or written.
  2. Write:Have you ever tried writing about yourself or about your thoughts before you have actually spoken or delivered? You will find that the written thoughts would be far better with rich content than speaking without preparation. Writing helps to expand ideas and thoughts and improve the quality of expression, thus helping to communicate with clarity. A habit of writing journals, maintaining diaries, or writing the ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings leads to effective communicative process.
  3. Talk:Talk more than gossip in the language you deliver your speech, information or share your ideas with your team. Constructive conversation with peers, seniors and even juniors widens the scope of gaining confidence along with knowledge. It helps to learn a language practically.                            
  4. Mirror Practice:Have you ever tried speaking to the mirror before any presentation? Mirror technique is the basic way to build confidence and boost communication skills. Speaking to the mirror prepares an individual for public speaking, thus helping to develop a positive body language with fearless eye contact. An individual can check his flaws and practice without facing any situation of embarrassment, thus killing all his/her fear to face the public. Mirror technique is the best way to bring perfection in the art of communication.

A good hold in the language is the key to an Effective Communication.

  • Voice: You may have a good command over the language you use to direct your team, however, if your voice lacks the strength and clarity, the members of the organization might not take the commands on a serious note. In fact, no leading position is offered to an individual without a commanding, gentle and clear voice.

Rightly did Henry Wadsworth Longfellow say, ‘The human voice is the organ of the soul.’

Working on voice doesn’t mean fighting to overcome with your God gifted natural voice. It is the way you produce a word with the correct and pitch. A confident voice comes through the diaphragm, with the right pitch, not too loud nor too light that it fails to reach the ears of the listeners. Now, how do we work to improve our voice for an effective communication. Here are few ways which we can try to improve our voice quality while communicating.

  1. Breathing practice:Breathing in the right wayrelaxes a bodythus letting the voice to come out freely without shivers. Breathing is the only foremost force that leads a body to live. We must learn to inhale and exhale in the correct ways letting our belly rise and fall accurately, as we breathe. A tensed body fails to breathe in the right way, thus affecting the strength of the voice. Meditate and practice the right techniques of breathing. You can also consult a yogic expert to guide you.
  2. Reading Aloud:Reading aloud any piece of article, story, speech or poetry in a closed room, near the beach, or in front of the mirror helps to strengthen the voice and to speak with the right tone, pitch and accent.
  3. Recording Voice: The best way to assess the quality of your voice is to record and listen repetitively, and then work on its improvement. Listening to the own voice helps to know the flaws and work on them to enhance the quality of the voice.
  4. Prepare before Presenting: Always go by the old and evergreen saying that practice makes a man perfect. Plan and prepare before presenting your ideas and views to the public. Even the slightest information when prepared before delivering will give you the best results. Speak to yourself. Test yourself and your voice. The tone, stress, pitch of your voice can be the best and effective if you prepare before presenting. If you are preparing to present in front of your colleagues then make sure to design a presentation and present it in visual form. make communication engaging.
  5. Try Tongue Twisters:Singing tongue twisters aloud is the best exercise for the articulatory muscles. It helps an individual to speak fluently and flawlessly.
  6. Take the right posture before speaking: Standing or sitting with the right posture while communicating or delivering a speech makes communication flow smooth. It helps to keep your muscles relaxed thereby letting you free from any kind of stress. Keep your hands and feet relaxed. Do not shake your legs which is the sign of lacking confidence. Avoid taking support of the wall or any table. If you are using a podium, rest your hands on it relaxing your fingers. Do not try to hold the podium; it won’t fall-stop worrying. Do not bring the microphone too close to your face or mouth. Check before you begin your speech. Making warm eye contact with the listeners or with the team leads to a comfortable and understanding communication.
  7. Avoid Stress: Stress is the worst hurdle to an effective communication.Take deep breath and keep yourself away from stress. Your mind should be occupied with the ideas you want to share than giving space to worries thinking about the outcome. A relaxed mind is the key to a successful communication.
  • Listen: To make a communication process successful, a leader must possess dynamic listening skills.Listen before you speak so that your content carries what the listeners ought to listen. Avoid speaking to yourself in silence when it is your turn to listen. Listen before you impose your opinions or decisions.A successful communication process demands interpretation and understanding of the messages or views put forth by the team members on the ground of which the leader prepareshis/her statements. Conceptsand verdicts are best expressed and shared after listening to the opinions of the team mates or members.Try to ingrain the habit of listening in you with patience and concentration so that you have the best solutions to assert.  And so, did the Greek philosopher Epictetus state,

‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’

  • Awareness /Subject matter: A speaker must be aware of the subject or the theme s/he has to speak about. A thorough research and homework can only make a communication process effective. A leader would never speak without preparing on the subject s/he has to deliver. Incomplete knowledge can be dangerous in front of the public. Awareness about the subject matter frees the speaker from mumbling (as thinking on the spot takes time in framing the right kind of sentences) and nervousness. Views and opinions when prepared before imparting it to others raises the level of confidence while speaking.
  • Questioning Skills:A communication process is a two-wayforce. Every opinion, view and thoughts are followed by questions. A speaker must have good questioning skills to complete a fair communication process with complete information and ideas for a successful course of action in future. Detailed information must be gathered in order to create unique ideas and form new set of information. And a detailed information can only be collected through apt questioning skills. An effective communication process is also determined by how powerful the questions put forth are. Enhance the skills of framing open ended questions which enables the listeners to think, rethink and reflect, thereby making the communication process more interactive and interesting. Questions which seek straight answers like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are the barriers to an effective communication. They put a halt on a running conversation. Therefore, a leader must enhance the art of questioning to generate valuable ideas.
  • Simple and Concise: Albert Einstein said,‘Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of a genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.’

The content planned and prepared to be delivered must be concise so that it doesn’t over brim the holding capabilities of the audience.

Einstein also said,‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’

Speaking for hours with an unending speech will lead to a failure of the entire communication process. The content must be well prepared, precise and simple so that the listeners or the members of the communication process can easily comprehend the matter which would help them to give sensible opinions and feedback. Rhetoric language can never catch the attention of the listeners. Moreover, a leader must understand the difference between a casual/personal and formal/business communication.

  • Completeness: A communication process must have an end. It cannot end without a properly stated conclusion. Open endings are never productive in carrying out any decision or responsibility. The acts and the details of the information and the ideas must be summarized precisely to bring an end to the ongoing communication process. Half ended discussion without a final view or decision can never be termed as a fruitful communication. The process of communication must include the sender sending the message in the form of speaking and the receiver must receive and comprehend the message thus giving a feedback to the speaker or sender, thus making the communication effective and complete.
  • Feedback:No communication can be complete without feedback. If a communication ends without a feedback, it can be termed one sided communication and can never be effective. Feedback is the final and the most important factor deciding if a communication process is successful. The response of the listener or the listeners determine the course of action to be followed after a discussion or professional communication. The feedback must be specific and informative so that the action to be taken after the communication process can be planned and responsibilities in an organization can be distributed. A leader must conclude a discussion only after receiving feedback from his team members.

The association of all the above factors come under one umbrella called CONFIDENCE which is the most significant key to an EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

A leader must master in all the above stated factors to gain confidence and put forth an effective communication. Only an effective communication leads a leader to reach a successful decision-making stage. A leader without a firm and clear voice with clarity of thoughts and awareness can never lead a team or an organization smoothly. Leadership skills demand flexibility in the nature of accepting ideas. A leader must be open to accepting the opinions of his team members and develop a very active listening ability. A well-versed communicator can bring a huge number of masses to one platform only through the power of effective communication. Creation and innovation can only be put on practical grounds by effectively communicating with the team and receiving positive feedback. It is essential for a leader to build a strong bond with and between the members which can be only possible through powerful and influential spoken words.Ideas when expressed with confidencein the correct language can only be comprehended by the working members who in future would convert the shared ideas into the final product.

We certainly cannot deny to James Humes who stated,

‘The art of communication is the language of leadership.’

Effective Communication is thus the Dominant Art to Leadership.

The End

Mousumi Sachdeva
Author: Mousumi Sachdeva

The Author of The Pride of Being Different, Love Remains Undefined and Making Impossible Possible, and the Poet of The Blend of the Real and Imagination(Poetry Book), Mousumi Kalita Sachdeva serves as Skill Development Trainer, author, an international poet, a columnist, motivational speaker and the Editor at Damick ,a Self-Publishing House and the Traditional Publishing Head Editor of Turquoise Publication.

Mousumi Sachdeva

The Author of The Pride of Being Different, Love Remains Undefined and Making Impossible Possible, and the Poet of The Blend of the Real and Imagination(Poetry Book), Mousumi Kalita Sachdeva serves as Skill Development Trainer, author, an international poet, a columnist, motivational speaker and the Editor at Damick ,a Self-Publishing House and the Traditional Publishing Head Editor of Turquoise Publication.