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Leaders Letter 115 – Communicating: The Lost Art Of Leadership!

Dear leaders, this week I want to reintroduce the power of communication and the importance of the right communication within the workplace

We have seen an explosion of new tools over the last decade, we are expected to stay on top of the numerous channels, slack and teams constantly wanting our attention, understand the important emails, manage the flow of information and data from meetings and take the most important actions and insights, distil and then deliver on these. 

Superpower: Communication I have said this before on leaders letters and I will say many times in the future, communication is the superpower most do not work on and it is the key skill for the majority of high-level c-suite execs have (that and being able to juggle 100 things at once and stay somewhat sane). 

Communication in my eyes is often the difference between good company culture and company performance and is the element you are in the most control of. 

Remember less is very often more

Something that many feel is the best way to communicate is to send many messages, appear on many threads and add their opinion. The best communicators and the best operators rarely have to do this (from my 23-year working career), they know how to and when to communicate. 

Here are the ways communication is key in organisations and why developing your communication muscle is vitally important on your leadership journey:

  • Communicating the potential downturns and the impact this can have on the company, your department or individuals up for potential layoffs. The best layoffs (if there is such a thing) have been those that have put EQ first and put their team’s well-being first  
  • Celebrating the wins and what it means for the company 
  • Working asynchronously – despite what many believe, we are moving towards async work more and more and hybrid is forcing function in dividing the best leaders and communicators and the worst
  • Handling hundreds of inbound signals and being able to boil them down to the three most important actions for the company or team to focus on 
  • Ability to retell the same story numerous times and not get bored of creating new ways of telling it and reshaping the narrative to fit the situation 
  • Being able to distil the strategy onto one page and ensure it makes sense across the business and land with all team members 
  • The ability to write a ten-slide deck that lands across the leadership team and gain buy-in for additional budget requests or a large investment into your business area 
  • The expertise to know when to write, when to call an all-hands and speak in person or when to record a video and distribute it across the company.  

These are all areas you can identify, you can plan for and build your muscle memory around to improve your communication.

I strongly believe the best leaders make the time to improve, despite how busy they are, they find the time and energy for personal development and invest in their own training.  

So the questions to ask yourself and answer over the next month: 

  • How are you improving your communication style? 
  • How are you learning to story tell better?
    (Hint: read storyworthy) 
  • How are you learning to develop your own voice?
    (Hint: Write more, craft more executive summaries and record you’re saying this loud)
  • How are you improving your writing style?
    (Hint: Written communication is most frequent and how the majority of decisions are based on and decided with)
  • How are you working on your in-person delivery?
    (Hint: Use your smartphone and practise reviewing yourself) 
  • Are you practising your presentation skills?
    (Hint: Use the record function on Keynote, PowerPoint or a tool like Dropbox Capture and present a number of decks you have created, watch back and tweak)
  • Are you looking for training in information design?
    (Hint: Your company slide template is likely hindering how you present) 

Thanks for reading Leaders Letter newsletter again this week, I always welcome replies and conversations around the topics, and happily get in touch if you would like to dive into these points or a previous letter. 

Danny Denhard

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