Communicating more effectively
In seeking to become a better communicator, you naturally need to con-
sider both content and context. Some basic points to consider when
seeking to get the content right:
Preparation is really important and the longer, or more important the
interaction you are facing, the more you need to prepare.
Even for short everyday interactions, be clear in what you wish to say
and get your thoughts organised in your own head, before you open
Match the content of what you have to say with the requirements of
your audience, be that one person or many.
Consider what they need to know, what they know already, and how
best to devise the message to make it stick for them.
Be clear, concise and don’t wafﬂe.
Be knowledgeable about your work and up to date with current
trends. Take proactive steps to build your knowledge base.
Avoid instances where you are put on the spot for immediate answers
to complex issues. Naturally, there will be plenty of occasions where a
quick answer is required and you will need to cope effectively with
When you don’t have the answer, don’t bluff or think on the hoof. Be
honest and tell them you will get back to them. Then make sure you
Avoid overuse of meaningless jargon and buzzwords, or you could end
up sounding like a walking cliché machine. Never feel that you need
to join the jargon club – clear and simple is best.
In seeking to get the context right, things become somewhat more compli-
cated, for a lot of what you are currently doing in relation to tone and body
language is subconscious. Improving your self-control will help you here,
as it will allow you to manage your emotions more effectively and there-
fore improve how you communicate.
READ_C05.QXP 1/10/07 12:03 Page 59
The table below demonstrates how the three states of control inﬂuence our
outward behaviours when communicating.
READY TO LEAD?
Out of Control
Being too shy or
In Control Out of Control
Being too angry
Tone of Voice
getting to the
Using ‘I’ but
in a non-
Using ‘you’ in
or away a lot
In your face
READ_C05.QXP 1/10/07 12:03 Page 60
Get Ready To Lead? now with the O’Reilly learning platform.
O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.