As we all strive to become better communicators, we must be clear and concise. I recently had a discussion with a gentleman where I was vague on my stance about an important matter, and I left him with more questions than answers. My words left him with the need to read between the lines so that he could try to understand what I was saying, which is never a good thing. He could have taken my half answers and twisted them to say whatever he wanted to hear that day (I’m glad he didn’t), but it still meant that I needed to articulate my stance in a better way.
I had a chance to follow-up with him later, and I’m grateful that he understood what I was trying to say, but this had me questioning my entire approach to communication. In business, on topics of faith, with politics, and on other important but uncomfortable topics, I have found that it’s always best to be true to yourself, not to someone else. Of course, I am talking about having a respectful conversation with someone else about your differences to bring about the chance to learn from one another. It’s true that having a civil conversation with another adult can teach you something. Try it sometime; I promise that it works.
On the topic of business, on topics of faith and politics, and other important subjects, is there any reason to ever dance around your true feelings? Not if your goal is to become a better communicator. And if your goal is to become a better communicator, then your main focus should be clarity above all else. Of course, researching information to form your stance is the foundation of all of this, but it can’t stop there. Clearly stating the facts so that people can fully understand them is the responsibility of a great communicator. Nothing more, nothing less.If your goal is to become a better communicator, your focus should be clarity above all else. Click To Tweet
You see, as a leader, your job isn’t to persuade. Your job as a leader is to present the facts and let the facts be the persuader. It’s true that persuasion is leadership work, but facts are the tools used to get the job done.
Do I have everything figured out? No way. Have there been times where I didn’t fully explain every single detail that I needed to? Absolutely. There will always be something that is missed unless you have all day to talk to someone. Sure, it’s true that people will always hear what they want to hear, but it is our job as communicators to speak as clearly as we possibly can, to admit when we fall short, and to do our very best to leave no question unturned.
So, how exactly do we become better communicators? We should strive to fully explain ourselves, listen to the questions that others have for us, and then ask the necessary questions to move forward. This is the only way to correctly communicate with other people. People need more information to make an informed decision, and when communication is done correctly, your research and words provide dialogue, not a one-sided conversation.