by Stephanie Bickel
Oftentimes, we try to get better on our own. You may search for content on the internet. Watch videos. Observe others who excel in the skills you want to achieve. That's a great start and shows your commitment to improving. If you are seeking additional support, working with a communication coach may be just what you need to get to the next level by learning leadership and communication skills. With the right training in the first year with an expert, you can ensure long-term employment with communication coaching on the right topics. Here are some of the skills you can expect to learn when you engage in a leadership and communication skills coaching program.
1. Stellar introductions.
First impressions go a long way and can be a catapult to building relationships and trust. You must think about the audience and position yourself for that interaction to have the right impact. End your self-introduction with how the focus of your work is an opportunity for them.
2. Excellent dialoguing and active listening skills.
If you consider yourself an expert, you may wrongly believe your value is in talking. You probably aren't asking enough questions. Your conversation should be an appropriate balance between telling and asking. People like to talk, so give them an opportunity to do so. When you optimize your active listening skills, you will connect, problem solve, and influence at the highest level. If you are playing a facilitator role, push yourself to talk only 20% of the time. Devote 80% of the time to hearing ideas and solutions from your audience.
3. Expansive thinking.
Resist the urge to jump in when someone else is talking. Experts, especially, are over-eager and cut off others. They interrupt and chop off the ends of statements. Let people finish their thoughts. It's a sign of respect.
4. Structured ideas that begin with the end.
Because of the knowledge curse, it's easy for an expert to jump through points too fast or take leaps in logic. They assume the audience knows more than what they actually do. Prepare with the audience in mind to craft a top-down or bottom-up message. Experts are often trained in bottom-up communication styles that lose the attention of non-expert audiences. If you are managing up, start with a governing thought instead of boring your audience with too much detail. If your audience needs more context, state it simply by starting with the situation and complication. Articulate clearly, take time to pause in between thoughts and give time for the audience to process each important point.
5. Concise messaging.
Include only the necessary information. Experts tend to over-assert and over-talk. Your audience will ask a question if they need more information. Invite them to get curious. If you stop talking, you will give them a chance to share exactly what is on their mind. You can then spend most of your time focusing on what is most important to them.
6. Empower others and don't debate harshly.
When two experts meet, sparks often fly. Experts need to look out for this dynamic and become more open and flexible when other experts are in the room. Instead of being predisposed to want to fight for your opinion, get the audience to say the answer you have in your head without your saying it! Let the audiences own the conclusion. When they own the conclusion, they will feel smart, popular, and successful.
7. Stories that excite and inspire with a picture of the future.
Experts are so focused on the problem, they often forget about the future state the audience needs to visualize. Tell a client story that focuses less on the process and more on the impact. Give them a reason to believe this is possible for them.
Begin your personal transformation by committing to the seven areas listed above. Come to a communications coaching program with how you have improved on your own. We will help you take it from there. Our greatest success is seeing our clients reach their goals. We become inspired and motivated by you and your stories. If we feel this way, we can only imagine the impact you are having on your audiences.
Speak by Design University creates great leaders. It’s the only leadership communication program in the world that gives you access to self-paced learning, group coaching and training and, most importantly, private one-on-one coaching. Learn more and register.