Communication is the single most important activity for any leader, professional, or executive, but why is that?
How does effective communication lead to more success?
According to Joe Yazbeck, the best-selling author of No Fear Speaking, it’s because communication is the tool that connects people, creates agreement with ideals and ideas and projects, and makes for a productive function within an organization.
In part two of his interview on the FlipMyFunnel Podcast, Joe shared some great insight on what communication is and why it matters.
You could have a leader with great ideas and a perfectly mapped-out plan, but it takes communication to implement the plan. If executives and leaders cannot do that, then their planning is just a wish. It’s a dream without a result.
What We’ll Cover in This Article
- The One Area of Communication That Gets Violated the Most
- A Leader Who Is Afraid to Hear the Truth
- How PR and Communication Are Intertwined
- What to Do if You’re Brilliant (But Really Bad at Communicating)
This blog post is based on episode 377 of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.
The One Area of Communication That Gets Violated the Most
A single, sacred rule of communication is often the one that is ignored the most:
An executive or a leader needs to be able to understand their team.
At all times, leaders should know what their teams are having trouble with. They should know exactly why something isn’t going as well as it should.
It takes an ability to listen, to give a person full attention, and to ask smart questions.
That last one is particularly important. The only way to know what you’re looking for is to ask. People think that leadership is a completely directed or an indoctrinational approach. In reality, it’s “Help me understand this.”
Leadership is finding answers to what, where, why, who? You gather information and use it properly to pull the string on a decision or to help someone.
We are, as leaders, coaches. We’re coaching people to get their jobs done. We’re not interfering with them: we’re assisting them to produce at a higher quality.
This is where most leaders or executives go off the rails.
A Leader Who Is Afraid to Hear the Truth
If a leader is afraid to hear the truth, they might as well pack it up and go home.
It’s a leader’s responsibility is to take care of their company. If a person is not confronting problems within that company, they’re doing the organization a disservice. Find somebody who does care and get out of the way.
Everyone, by the way, should have leadership capability. Everybody’s managing somebody or something, whether you’re a manager, a director, a supervisor, or even just “an employee.”
One example of inviting the truth is in workflow handoffs. Joe’s advice is to always complete something in your department before you hand it off to the next department.
For example, you wouldn’t want a different to service someone without an invoice paid. Otherwise, Finance hasn’t done their job.
So “finishing the job” is a form of communication.
How PR and Communication Are Intertwined
Talking about PR really isn’t switching gears here, because, if you think about it, public relations is communication.
Joe’s clients come to him for one-on-one coaching because they want to be a more respected and more widely recognized authority in the industry that they represent. He has to break through some misperceptions about PR at the outset of the relationship.
PR isn’t just dressing well. It isn’t just getting out a great press release. It’s not just status, or who you’re taking good pictures with.
PR is the answer to the question, “How do you want the public to identify you?” It’s your branding. It’s a highly misunderstood subject.
Thus, Joe includes brand messaging in client program objectives. He also includes becoming an author. If you can help someone to express their voice in literary form, the public will want to open that door.
An author is an authority figure. The word “author” itself sits right inside the word “authority,” after all. Not only that, but a client who writes a book can stand on bigger platform stages and get bigger and better audiences.
What to Do if You’re Brilliant (But Really Bad at Communicating)
Most of us know professionals, such as doctors, attorneys, accountants, financial people, or CIOs, who are technically brilliant but have trouble communicating. Their lack of communication is a real barrier to their success.
A lot of them don’t want to risk their technical professional standard by humiliating themselves by their lack of stage presence. But you can be trained to be your own public relations professional, your own brand ambassador.
It’s not easy. Very likely, you’ll be tentative and nervous for quite a while. But it can be done. Remember:
You trained to be a technical professional. You can be trained to be a communication specialist, too.