Living in the present era, the need for authentic leadership is more crucial than ever. This applies not only to the global stage and our local communities but also within our own homes. Authentic leadership goes beyond prestigious titles, corner offices, or the extent of our authority. It encompasses a conscious mindset, demeanor, and the ability to bring out the best in those we serve. This includes how we engage and communicate with others.
Developing strong communication skills is essential to becoming an effective leader. As social beings, it is only fitting that we hone these skills for our daily interactions. The guiding principles of communication employed in the corporate setting to motivate a team before a major product launch are equally applicable when trying to persuade a four-year-old to tidy up their toys before bedtime. The key difference lies in the way we deliver our intended message.
5 Ways to Unlock Authentic Leadership Through Purposeful Communication
Be an Attentive Listener
Being an effective leader means having the ability and willingness to address the desires and needs of those under your guidance. It entails setting aside pride and ego momentarily to genuinely hear the other person. In the current climate, it is crucial to truly listen and comprehend the meaning and intention behind the conveyed message, rather than simply waiting for our turn to respond.
Be open, genuine, and true to yourself. No one appreciates an authority figure who wears a mask or appears insincere. People are astute and can easily detect inauthenticity. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your flaws; after all, you’re only human. By showing your true self, people will respect and admire you.
Clearly Express Your Intentions
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Articulate your desires clearly and appropriately. Whether you are giving directions to a subordinate or collaborator for the next project steps, redirecting a young child to encourage appropriate behavior, or engaging in private and intimate moments with a partner, opt for direct communication instead of ambiguity. Never assume that the other person knows what you want.
While you might believe that the other person should already know your stance or reasoning, it remains essential to communicate your intentions explicitly from the outset. Your feelings and assumptions may not necessarily align with the other person’s understanding. Therefore, do yourself a favor and establish clarity from the beginning.
Use Empowering Speech
Consider the people around you. Countless individuals seek your advice and turn to you for suggestions. Moreover, there are likely many others who quietly observe your behavior but may be too timid to ask for help. Perhaps they are currently facing challenges that you have already overcome, yet they hesitate to seek assistance. Become an astute observer of the world around you and provide words of encouragement following a job well done. Praise the individual(s) responsible or the entire team, placing the focus on their efforts rather than your ego.
If you notice someone struggling, offer guidance while still allowing the person to take responsibility for completing the task. By doing so, you empower them in the current situation and enhance their confidence for future obstacles.
Lead Through Example
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, “Well done is better than well said.” Don’t be the person who merely speaks of their intentions but fails to act upon them. Be the individual who takes initiative and follows through. Let your actions and deeds speak for themselves.
Ensure that your words align with your actions. We have all encountered individuals whose words and actions do not align. Such people do not embody the principle of leading by example but rather demonstrate a hypocritical stance of doing as I say and not as I do. Take a moment to reflect on the message being conveyed by someone who operates from this position. Whatever it may be, it is likely far from positive. Instead, be the person whose actions and deeds convey the right message to the intended recipients.
Incorporate these straightforward practices into your daily life and begin communicating in a purposeful and meaningful manner. Keep in mind that the word “practice” is intentionally chosen, as these are actions we must consistently employ to communicate with clear and conscious intent.
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Original article published on The Good Men Project