Over the last month or more we have focused on communication skill development for the leader. In this, our last installment with a primarily Contagious Communication™ training focus, we’ll take a look at how to be heard. Everyone wants to be heard. Some more than others and to such a degree that sayings such as “Can you hear me now” and “Did you hear me?” are used in far more than phone commercials and talks with teenagers. But, when you are not able to talk face to face or feel like you’ve said enough, how can you be heard without having to say a word? If you’re a virtual leader, these tips will come in particularly handy, but they also work well when your entire team is steps away down a short hallway.
Listen intently to what is being said and provide the facial expression that shows you really care and are interested.
Pause when the other party has finished speaking, until it is almost uncomfortable and then start your message slowly and somewhat more softly (quieter) than you might normally.
Take notes when the other person is talking. This will entice them to listen far more closely to what you say to ensure you have captured, in writing, their actual message. Writing is considered a permanent record and others want to make sure they are represented well.
Smile more. There is truth in that they will wonder what you are up to or thinking.
Reduce the amount of filler words, fluff talk, and speaking in general, and what you say will become much more valuable. Think EF Hutton. When one only says two words, they are perceived to be far more important than the person’s whose mouth is always moving.
These steps may not seem like much, but they are a bit more difficult to say than do. Give them a shot and see who all intently, with attention, and with focus… listens more closely to you.
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.