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Communicate Better: How to Open the Listener’s “Inner Door”

Sean Lynch, April 18, 2016

Communicate Better

Leaders work with and through others to achieve success. Therefore, leaders need to convey messages in ways that will allow others to let those messages in and act upon them. Most people have an inner door that must be opened to let your message in. The key to that inner door isn’t in your words alone, but in the persona that you project.

To become a better communicator, pull the lens back. What are you doing, or not doing, prior to the point of delivery, that impedes (or enhances) your ability to get the message across?

Good communicators:

  1. earn the respect of their audience. Leaders meet and exceed standards, demonstrate accountability, and serve team members. When it comes time to deliver a message, they have earned the credibility to hold another’s attention and compel action.
  2. Demonstrate well developed non-verbal communication skills. So much of our message is conveyed through facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice. Additionally, ensure your body is sending the same message as your words. Stealing glances at your watch, or your phone, doesn’t create congruence.
  3. Deliver more praise. We often focus on the negative. Inappropriate behavior and failing to meet expectations must be addressed, but get in the habit of delivering up to 5 pieces of positive feedback for every piece of constructive criticism. Praise is the #1 motivator! Tell people what you would like them to continue doing, do more vigorously, or more often.

The message you deliver is important. However, it’s what you do before delivery that is really going to get you heard.

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