Last week, we talked about the four relevant concepts in leadership – the concepts of creativity, compounding, clarity, and collaboration. We were reminded to embrace our own creativity and the creativity of other people. And because the power of compounding takes time, we are called to keep on planting and hold on to the visions, to the dreams, and to the plans we have. In all these, clarity is very important because clarity is power. Finally, we are called to collaborate not to compete.
These four concepts are crucial to consider as we respond to the challenge of leadership. But there is an overarching ingredient that is so essential and can never be ignored – the ingredient of communication. James Humes said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
When casting the vision, when sharing the plan, when setting expectations, the leader must communicate clearly to his constituents. In every interaction, communication is the leader’s most crucial tool.
To use this more effectively, you and I, as leaders, must relearn the elements of communication. There are several of them but let us focus on just three for today: context, channel, and response.
First, context. Context is the setting or situation in which the communication takes place.
In what context are you operating in? What is the occasion? What is needed? Is there a problem that must be solved? Is there a concern that must be addressed immediately? Are there things the listener needs to be reminded of? What is the intention of conveying the message? What is the expected response?
Any message should be relayed with due consideration of the context. Most often, the message gets lost because the context was ignored.
Second, channel. The channel, also called medium, is the means by which the message is transmitted or conveyed.
What is the best channel to convey the message? Is it going to be written, spoken, or both? Is it going to be face-to-face or via phone call? Is it going to be sent through email or sms?
It is best to choose the most appropriate channel when sending a message. Misunderstanding may arise and even escalate due to wrong choice of channel.
Third, response. Response is the feedback given by the listener (receiver) to the speaker (sender).
Upon conveying the message, what was the response given? Did they say yes or no? Did they understand what you told them? How positive are they in their response? Did they agree with you or was there a sign of disagreement?
I learned that communication is the response you get. Communication is not equal to conveying the message without receiving any response.
Context, channel, and response – these are essential elements we are being reminded of today. As leaders and communicators, we must bear in mind that communication is the overarching ingredient in leadership; for this ingredient to be used effectively, we must communicate with due consideration of the context, right choice of channel, and alertness to receive the listener’s response.
Dear leader, how are you communicating effectively in your company or organization?
Speak a message, spark inspiration, and spur action!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a communication & leadership trainer, inspirational speaker, and author of four books. For training or speaking invitations, email him at email@example.com.)