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Brain circuits

How to be a better communicator

Published 10 December 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Refining your communication skills will enhance all aspects of your life, including improvements in all aspects of your work.

You can have the best strategy in the world and a superstar team in place to execute it, but none of that matters if you don’t have the ability to communicate your ideas. Strong communication is one of the pillars of great leadership, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The good news is this is a learnable skill, and one that you should practice and polish as you rise in your career.

If you feel like you need a basic refresher (and even if you don’t feel that way, it’s a good idea to check yourself at least once a year) you can review the PACK model, which provides four simple steps for executives to drastically improve the impact of their communications. You can read the steps here.

If you feel you are communicating well but are struggling to get your team to open up, there are several exercises you can try with your team. Groups of people who work together often get stuck in the same roles, similarly to how family units operate. These exercises will help get your team unstuck and talking openly about what is holding them back.

Once you have your team back on track (or if they were already doing well), there are steps you can take to help prevent future conflicts. You can read those here. A simple tool can help structure open conversations around five domains – along with five sets of questions designed to surface key differences that disrupt team functioning. The approach empowers managers to facilitate team discussions before the differences between colleagues have had a chance to trigger strong emotions or animosity. Read about that here.

Crises require a different style of communication; there is great advice on the keys to talking to employees during times of crisis here.

In addition to regularly exercising your communication skills, leaders often overlook one final simple thing to ensure their message is getting conveyed correctly: simply ask the recipient of your message how they understand what you’ve said.

 

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