Part I of our book is called "Create Your New Leadership Role." We've broken down the components of communicating and creating leadership into a set of basic elements. Use these as a checklist to make sure you are consistently creating your own leadership potential.
Listen first. Good leaders are good connectors. They listen and read situations effectively. Many new leaders land their new role on the strength of other more narrowly defined skills or accomplishments and may have neither the natural tendency nor the opportunity to develop effective connecting skills.
Our position on this is adamant: you must cultivate listening skills and behavior, no matter where on the spectrum you fall naturally. As with most skills, you first recognize it as something you need to develop long-term, and then you begin to practice it tactically. We recommend that you develop an ingrained habit of listening first. And even before you listen, read first. Body language, facial expressions, tone of voice—all these communicate long before words are exchanged. Remind yourself to listen and read as you go into meetings, conversations, and the like. And then review to see what key piece of knowledge allowed you to achieve the effectiveness you desired.
Talk in order to listen and connect better. Experienced communicators will talk in order to listen. They use a "Socratic" process, asking questions, or proposing possible ideas that create an environment in which key information or shifts ...