Why and how clear communication starts from within

To be an effective leader, you have to be an effective communicator.

And to be an effective communicator, you’ve got to be a clear communicator.

Without clarity, even the most compelling of messages won’t be heard or understood. But clear communication starts from within.

Before you can clearly and effectively communicate your thoughts and ideas to others, first you need to clearly articulate them in your own mind. So, before you write your next email, make your next phone call, hold your next meeting, or present your next talk, take the time to get clear on:

  • WHAT message you want to convey
  • WHO you want to convey it to…and
  • WHY you want to convey it – what response are you looking for? What’s your communication objective?

Secondly, you need to have a clear picture of who you are as a leader. Your personal leadership brand.

Just like Volvo and Tesla, or Apple and Microsoft, or Qantas and Virgin have a clearly-defined brand that helps determine the way in which they communicate messages, with their employees, customers and shareholders, so too do their leaders. Think of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Alan Joyce and Richard Branson. Very different personal leadership brands. And as a result, very different ways of communicating.

By clearly defining your own personal leadership brand you give a unique quality and consistency to your communication that will help you establish and build your presence as the leader you are, or the leader you want to be.

How to define your leadership brand

To start defining your personal leadership brand, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What impact do you want to have or what contribution do you want to make to the world around you – your team, your peers, your organisation, your customers, your industry?
  2. What do you stand for – what are your values?
  3. What do you want to be known and remembered for? Think of it this way…when your team, or customers or peers are asked to describe you in three words, what words do you want them to use?

Clear communication starts from within. So define your personal leadership brand; use it to inform how you communicate your clearly defined messages with your team, customers and networks; and start to build your presence as an effective communicator and an
effective leader!