We hear time and time again the key to success of any kind is good communication. If we want to have healthy personal relationships, effective teams, or become a great leader, we have to learn how to communicate effectually.
Yet, for some reason, most of us struggle with this so called “communication” stuff.
Why is it so difficult for a large portion of us to get the message from our brains out of our mouths, while some of us seem born to orate?
Well, perhaps some of us are! That infamous co-worker, the one you always send into the boss for important pitches and conversations, is probably operating under their Communication strength.
Metaphors, Similes, They Love All Of These!
Not only are people with this strength good at public speaking, they are very capable storytellers and writers. Instead of recounting their trip to the grocery store as a list of events, they find the language and phrases that have the ability to capture your attention and have you hanging on every word.
They have the ability to take a dry idea and add life to it by creating images and using metaphors.
In an age of information overload, it’s important for them to get their information across and for it to stick. They seek to inspire people to act. They draw people to them with their vivid word choices and clever turn of phrase.
A Leader Like Winston
Winston Churchill is arguably one of the most famous orators in recent history. From his epic World War II speeches all the way to his cheeky sarcastic remarks, there is no doubt Winston had the strength of Communication.
His ability to capture an audience and make his words memorable undoubtedly played a key role in his success as a leader.
Being a leader with Communication is a priceless asset. As a leader, you are able to:
- advocate for yourself and your team clearly
- your words are well-chosen, and therefore effective
- capture an audience and present your ideas in a well understood manner
- create safe places through rapid and effective conflict resolution
- express concern and enter crucial conversations well prepared in an easily receivable manner
While that may come as second nature to you, it is extremely difficult for many people. Make sure you are available for coaching, especially for those without Communication as a strength.
It is never advisable to have someone spend a lot of their time working on a weakness, but the importance of communication at work, or life in general, necessitates some focus on strengthening Communication.
Being a leader, or even a peer, with this strength will make you valuable to your team!
Talks Too Much In Class
Now, the dark side of Communication would suggest that there is a limit to how much, when, and where all that communicating is appropriate.
A common barrier label for Communication is “blabbermouth.”
This loving term isn’t just reserved for verbal communication either; be careful when you’re writing e-mails that you aren’t going on and on, people will definitely stop reading. Having a way with words does not necessarily mean you need to speak at every given opportunity!
If you use this strength in a sophisticated manner, you won’t have to wait long before people will come to you asking you to speak. There is no need to run to them, for you risk appearing as though you simply enjoy the sound of your own voice. Listening is just as crucial to conversation as talking.
Remember, the pendulum swings both ways. As Winston himself once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand and speak up; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”.
If you have this strength, how would you advise someone who is struggling to communicate at work? As a leader, how has this aided you and your team? How has Communication stood in your way, if at all? Have you found that you have to adapt your Communication style to the person or situation?
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Image Sources: ripplesofbelief.com
- On Leadership: Winston Churchill & Ted Cruz (floppingaces.net)
- “Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks!”- Winston Churchill (thehampolice.wordpress.com)
Filed under: Coaching Corner, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership, Practical Steps to Influence Tagged: | Attitude, communication, emotional intelligence, Leadership Development, soft skills, Strengths Based Leadership