Communication mastery was the second, and it was the weapon that made all the difference.
It shows if we don’t sharpen each weapon in order, we will struggle
to become great leaders.
Who is on the other side of that bridge we’re traversing? With whom do we want to connect? If we want to get to know our audience (team members, peers, family, friends), we must do some detective work. Discovery always starts with questions. What is this person or group’s preferred style of communication? How do they want information from me? How can they communicate with me in a way that will facilitate my understanding of their positions?
This is likely the most challenging part of communication. It requires the foundation of self-mastery, and I do mean “mastery.” Each of us places a value on the things around us–words, behaviors, beliefs, personality traits, appearance...the list goes on. It doesn’t matter whether we are categorizing something as good, bad, or neutral; we are rendering judgment.
Active listening is an act of validation. You’re telling the other person that you think you have understood.
Critical listening is moving past the sense of hearing to engage with our ears and our brains. It’s hearing what is not actually said. Critical listening involves thinking, but it’s also intuitive.
Sometimes, leaders are tempted to be nice, rather than kind. Kindness is based on appreciation and respect. It’s caring for others in an authentic way, honoring both their values and yours. Being nice is based on accommodation and people-pleasing. It’s cordial and complimentary, but it’s not always truthful. If leaders are nice, they could be compromising self to avoid disagreements with others. This is bad. Successful leaders are not nice; they are kind.
312 Church Court, Greensboro, NC 27401
Tel: +1 (336)392-5637