The pandemic has changed the way people want to engage, learn and work. Mobility, transparency, empathy, simplification have become the expectations of engagement. In short, people want authentic and real relationships. Communicating in such an environment requires leaders to be vulnerable and humble. And since the attention span of people has shortened remarkably, the idea or thought needs to be delivered crisply and simply.
Communication is the act of sharing or exchanging information, ideas or feelings. The words ‘sharing’ or ‘exchanging’ represent an image of two or more people talking. Often, in organizations, when only leaders talk or convey the message, the communication could turn into a ‘download’. Here there is danger of not being understood and therefore, inhibiting the ability to influence and impact.
For years, my biggest angst used to be the feeling of being taken for granted or misunderstood. I realized that I had only been speaking my mind rather than making an effort to listen attentively and speak patiently. To build the agility to express as a leadership coach, author, speaker or on social media, I have deepened my awareness because each situation and audience demands a different style of language.
I have always found it easier to be authentic rather than keep a façade. Speaking my heart and being myself removes the pressure of pretense. However, what this also imposes is a responsibility to give space to listen to another’s heart. Applying this in practice has been a journey of developing self awareness and anchoring my emotions internally to create space to be respectful and compassionate. This helps establish trust and openness in the conversation and makes the exchange effective and fun.
We are gifted with the creativity to think differently and the sensitivity to observe. To communicate effectively and powerfully, the key ingredient is the ability to observe and mirror the language that will resonate with the audience. Communication an art and a science of observation, reflection, identification of patterns and then adaptation of the language to influence and inspire action.