Whether you’re communicating in person, by text message, in an email, or by phone, people are looking for confirmation that you, as the group leader, are confidently in charge. Leadership is as much a fact (you hold the title) as a way of being. You must take ownership of your leadership physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When you fully realize that the way you communicate with your group or team is as important as the messages you’re sending, you will become a much more powerful leader.
So how can you craft your communications so that your team will know that you’re confident in your ability to lead?
Here are five ways to package your messages in a confident and positive way:
- Slow down. You have plenty of time. When communicating in person or by phone, clearly enunciate what it is you have to say. Keep in mind, though, that every person is unique and has different listening speeds and attention spans. Watch for the response from the person with whom you’re communicating: Do they appear bored? Pick up the pace. Do they seem confused? Slow it down some more and ask periodically if they have any questions. If you’re communicating with a group via voice message, write down what you want to say before recording it, and practice it multiple times. When you feel comfortable with the message, think about the feeling that you want to attach to the message. Should it be warm and energetic? How about excited and motivational? Is it serious and needs some gravitas? Make sure your message and the way you deliver it are in harmony to get the best results.
- “Un-like” it. Haven’t you always wished there was an opposite of the “Like” button on platforms like Facebook? When you’re communicating with a group, you’ll find that your message will be better received if you take out unnecessary words, such as “like” (as in, “it was all, like, crazy”), “you know,” “I think,” “in my opinion…” You don’t have to couch your statements. Know what you think and what you wish to convey and just say it. Certain verbal ticks, such as “you know what I mean?”, impart a sense of nervousness. With attention and practice, you can eradicate them from your speech and your written communications. By doing so, your messages will be clearer and more powerful.
- Say thank you. You wouldn’t be a leader if you didn’t have a group of people looking to you for direction. Every person in your group is contributing something, and most everyone is thirsty for acknowledgement. Expressing your gratitude for your team’s attendance, hard work, and willingness will inspire each team member to continue to contribute and create a positive mindset that will help carry the group past the more difficult times. They know you couldn’t do it without them, and a heartfelt “thank you” assures them that you know it, too.
- Encourage feedback. If you’re sending a text or voicemail message, let group members know how they can tell you what they think about your message. Put your cell number in the message, or an email address to which they can respond. Demonstrating that you’re open to new ideas and those other than your own will show your team that you’re confident in choosing the best direction for all.
- Share Information. Don’t hoard it. If you give the impression that sharing information will somehow undermine your power, you’ve already lost it. Share any and all information that will empower your team and each of its members. Communicate frequently and fully. In the end, your team will know that you gave everything you had to ensure their success, and they will be grateful to you for it.
The essence of leadership is inspiring those we lead with a powerful vision and demonstrating confidence in the team’s ability to make it so. Boost your own confidence and you’ll boost your team’s confidence, too.