There’s a definite shortage of the kind of leadership straight-talk that builds trust, engagement and confidence – all essential to high-performing organizations. The best leaders know how to engage in meaningful and actionable dialogue about both successes and improvement opportunities – while preserving and enhancing relationships.
Despite the common belief that people are either ‘natural’ communicators – or they aren’t, empathetic straight-talk is a skill that can be developed and sustained through focused practice. Despite barriers such as personality characteristics, time limitations, stress and impatience, learning to use emotional intelligence in both one-on-one and group communications is do-able – and the payoffs are huge.
The single greatest barrier is lack of ‘tools in the communications toolbox’. Leaders who are willing to identify and prioritize communication improvements, remain conscious of their goals in each interaction and practice using targeted ‘talking points’ can develop and sustain new behaviors that improve engagement, accountability and performance.
Yes, in the beginning it’s necessary to “fake it ‘til you make it” – in other words,
“Practice doing what doesn’t come naturally – until it does.”
New straight-talk skills become more comfortable and more natural with practice. It’s an investment in developing capabilities that enhance every aspect of your life.
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© Copyright 2013. Marilou Myrick/ Masters Among Us, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited in any format, in whole or in part, without the written consent of an officer of Masters Among Us, Inc.