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persuasive appeals: (1) logos, (2) pathos, and (3) ethos. Logos is an appeal based upon the logic of an argument, while pathos is an appeal based on the use of emotions. Ethos is an appeal based on the perceived character of the sender of the message. Is the person trustworthy, confident, believable, knowledgeable, and a man or woman of integrity? If the audience does not trust or believe the speaker or writer, logic or emotion will have little persuasive force. A recent LinkedIn poll from 2000+ participants asking them ‘What do you think is the most important factor in Leadership?’ showed that 38% of overall participants interviewed named communication. 24% of them would like to see better character. “No matter how skilled someone is in a particular job, if he or she is a poor communicator, advancement opportunities are limited,” - Max Messmer, author of Managing Your Career For Dummies®.  Very surprisingly, despite the dominant stress on Vision, Drive and Character in the literature on Leadership, the overwhelming choice (so far) was Communication Does this really mean that Communication is the most important factor in Leadership? Not really – after all, a poll is only telling us the opinion of people – it’s not measuring which factor has the most impact in practice. But it does highlight something I believe is rather important. In my experience, what polls like this actually measure is the most pressing related issue at the top of the minds of the participants right now. If you ask us what the most important factor in leadership is, or teamwork, or business development excellence; we never really give our objective, dispassionate view of the absolute importance of the factors. What we give is our view on what we are most missing out on right now. In this case, the poll is highlighting that most participants see a problem with the level and quality of communication of their leaders (or they see it as their main challenge if they’re a leader themselves). It’s impossible for anyone to know for sure, objectively whether communication is more important than vision. But they answer with their gut feeling. And if currently they feel they’re not being communicated well enough with, then that’s what they’ll answer. The results were pretty consistent across gender, and also across the different sizes of companies respondents worked for. With the exception that communication was (understandably) viewed as even more of an important factor in very large enterprises. Results across Job Role were similar too – with the interesting discrepancies that engineers don’t seem to care about their leaders having character but needed essential communication, IT people not seeming to care about them having a vision, and sales people not seeming to care if they had a drive. Sales and Support functions were the most ones expressing necessity of communication in their job function. Leaders communicate, and communicators Lead From CEOs to supervisors and everything in between, most of the leaders have a few common communication habits that any of us can take to persuade, inform and encourage teams to be more successful. I’d like to share them with you. The six rules that will help you communicate more effectively, reduce conflict in your organization, and become a better leader. Rule #1: Organize thoughts Organizing your thoughts systematically is the first step to effective communication. You should be clear about the message that you want to convey, and it is helpful to have a framework for the conversation. Communication is a dynamic process, so you need to organize and re-organize your thoughts accordingly as the conversation progresses. This presence of mind is essential. Rule #2: Plan the conversation ahead of time When you think through a subject, try to envision what sort of reaction you will evoke. Plan out the different directions that the conversation may go, and prepare your ground accordingly. It helps to consider the personality and behavior of the audience with whom you are dealing. Rule #3: Be aware of nonverbal signals Did you know much of our communication happens through nonverbal signals? Non-verbal cues like facial expressions and tone of voice can communicate as much as 65% of what we want to say. Being mindful of your nonverbal expressions will allow you to choose more effective ones. Rule #4: Be succinct As they say, less is more. This holds true for leadership communication as well. Your goal in communication is to convey a message and create a certain response. Emphasize your key points simply, and respond to questions directly. Repeating yourself and reiterating your points will only detract from your message. Rule #5: Demonstrate how the other person will benefit When you show how the other person will directly benefit from your offer, you are very close to convincing them. To do this, you must highlight the rewards of your offer, and explain how they will improve his or her life. For example, instead of explaining that a new product is more efficient, you might emphasize how much time or money the customer will save. This is the fifth great rule for becoming a good communicator. Rule #6: Be a good listener The importance of listening to clients and team members and understanding their viewpoints is often overlooked. Effective communication is two-way process for managers; if you adopt a one-way attitude, you will fail to create a rapport. By making the other person feel that you value their participation in the conversation, and that you are addressing his/her needs, you make him/her much more willing to accommodate your position. In practice, this means that you must listen patiently and converse accordingly.  In the end, there’s no magic formula for great communication. But I’ve seen time and again that the leaders who communicate using these methods are more effective than those who don’t. And I’ve seen very effective communicators become great leaders. I look forward to hearing from you on how communication revolves around your leadership strategy, organization and team vision and all related elements that are needed for senior leadership teams to drive results and ensure that the right values trickle down to all levels. LE The Art of Leadership Communication Pavan Sriram is Founder and Director at ITTIGE Learning. With 13 years of rich experience in management positions at Crestcom, Dale Carnegie Training, SunGard and MeritTrac-Manipal Education Group and having worked with over 200 clients across industries, Pavan successfully has targeted organizational talent deficiencies associated with performance management, leadership development, ineffective communication, talent management and measurement. Call 09900116934 Email pavan@ittige.com 55 leadership excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 04.2014


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