The Art of Communication

the art of communicationCommunication is a core skill for success in business. We rely on this skill to clearly express our intentions to our staff, and we depend upon the communication skills of our team members when they interact with clients and prospects.  Effectiveness in all types of business communication is integral for any business to grow and flourish.

It’s a Two-Way Street

Communication is a two-way street.  It requires two individuals who are open to receive information and dialogue with each other. There is a delivery of the message and someone on the other end receiving it. Without an active and open receiver, there is no real communication.

This is why the “command and control” model of management has never really worked.  In moments of frustration, I often hear leaders express, “I thought that I made myself perfectly clear.”  However, it is not enough to simply share your thoughts; you also need to encourage dialogue and clarifying questions from the recipient, especially if it is a subordinate on your team. You need to be sure that the recipient has not only heard the words you have said, but also that he or she truly understands what you are asking for.  This is the essence of effective communication.

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The Importance of Shifting Perspectives

shifting perspectivesImagine this scenario… You are at a family gathering and want to take a candid photo. You spot your kids at the pool and need to decide whether to zoom in on your kids or zoom out to capture the entire scene.  What do you do?

I read a terrific article in the Harvard Business Review called Zoom In, Zoom Out. The author, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, relates the importance of the ability to zoom in and out as a key strategic management skill.  Ms. Kanter identifies the difficulties inherent in being stuck in either a too close or a too far out perspective. Being immersed in the details may cause you to miss a key pattern, and focusing too far out may cause you to not examine some small but significant blip.

Flexibility in Focus

The best leaders use the zoom button in both directions. Often, a complex situation will require the ability to zoom both in and out over the course of resolving the issue at hand.  This flexibility in focus is an important skill to develop.

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Qualities of Leaders Who Create Outstanding Results

Leadership Qualities for Outstanding ResultsThe greatest challenge for any manager is to create an environment that allows the team to succeed while allowing all team members to play to their strengths. This is the ultimate goal of a functional manager in any organization.

In my coaching practice, I consistently see patterns of what works and what doesn’t work  in the leaders whom I coach.

Certain qualities are critical in a leader in order to create outstanding results. These qualities are highlighted below.

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