Communication is possibly the most important part of leadership. Without communication we can not share our vision, provide motivation, and articulate purpose.
We all know that we constantly communicate. We do this both verbally and non verbally. The way you act is just as important as the way you talk. The way you stand is just as important as what you say. And how you say it can redirect the meaning so as to give your listener a totally different picture of what you are trying to communicate. At some point in Scouting or in your life you will need to communicate. The better you are at the easier it will be for you as a leader and the easier it will be for those you lead to understand your vision.
So we need to be aware and work on communication constantly.
Here are a few tips to assist in EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:
1. Speak Clearly. Can everyone hear you? Remember that while the information is probably very familiar to you, the listener may be hearing it for the very first time. Also, speak to the group as if you are talking to the last person in the last row.
2. Use language that EVERYONE understands. Avoid using jargon and acronyms that some may not be familiar with. This makes the listener feel like he is not welcome.
3. Vary your tone and pace. Keep your voice and not just your words interesting.
4. Move from the general to the specific. Provide examples of generalizations that the listener can relate to.
5. Use visuals- charts, maps, and diagrams. Remember that people vary in how they best absorb information. Some are more oriented towards verbal language, some towards the written word, and some learn a lot through graphics.
6. Eyeball- look at the listener. If you are speaking to a group, can you see everyone? Are the looking at you?
7. Encourage two way flow. Ask questions and get them asking questions of you. Answer questions helpfully and in a friendly manner. Don’t pass judgement on the question or the questioner.
8. Make it fun and interesting. Show enthusiasm!
Those are just a few ways that you can better your communication. Remember that to be an Effective leader you need to be an Effective Communicator.