Effective leadership relies heavily on communication. Leaders must adeptly communicate up, down and out to stakeholders in language that resonates.
Each group, even each individual, absorbs different messages based on their specific needs and concerns.
When crafting messages, consider these questions:
Q: How well do I understand this audience’s concerns? Have I asked?
Q: How can I tailor my message so that it is relevant for this audience?
Q: What language is most appropriate for them?
Q: What can I do to communicate more effectively?
Tom’s Reflections on These Questions
It is important to be clear that better communication may not be about saying more or saying it better, it may well be about saying less. About focusing on key messages and letting the rest slide. Often, the most impactful leaders are those who speak succinctly and with purpose.
If you have ever been to a conference, you will know that most (not all) presenters try to share too much. They know their domains so well and find them so fascinating that they want us to share in that too. It is important therefore to ask yourself:
- What message do I truly want the audience to remember?
- How might I be distracting them from that key message?
Once you have clarity around What it is you want to communicate, you then have the opportunity to reflect on the How.
The questions are intended to put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
- They don’t see the world from your perspective.
- They may not speak the same in-language you speak.
- They may not care about what you are about.
- They will filter what you say through their own experience.
What then might be important to them?
The Curious Leaders programme is designed to foster a deep sense of curiosity about who you are as a person and as a leader. It challenges you to reflect on what you can do each day to become a more effective leader. The premise is that before we can truly lead others, we first need to lead ourselves.
It thus ultimately starts with self-leadership. This is about building a practice of reflection and action whereby we become increasingly curious about how our thinking is impacting our actions. This is the first step in building a world in which curiosity shapes leadership.
In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. In truth, nurturing curiosity in leadership is essential if we are to address the key challenges of the 21st century.