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Leading with Passion Series - Effective and Approachable Communicator

by Jessica Biel, Business Development Director at Pinnacle Architecture & SMPS Seattle President

"If one had to name a single, all-purpose instrument of leadership, it would be communication." -John Gardner, author of On Leadership

A study conducted by the American Management Association identified the most important skill for a leader is good communication. If most people speak at the average rate of 120 words per minute and their listening capacity is four times faster, the difference can cause your mind to wander. Learning to focus on the speaker's words rather than planning a response allows you to truly digest what is being said. When responding, being clear, concise, and aware of your own body language, including eye contact, to help get your message across in a positive manner. Speaking with enthusiasm, friendliness, and confidence will make people, both at work and at home, feel comfortable communicating. Yes, this seems pretty basic but it is amazing how taking just a few seconds to really think about how you're presenting yourself can make a huge impact on the outcome of a conversation.

To measure the success of being a good communicator you must learn to be both an observer and an observer and a participant, at the same time, allowing you to take notice of your own actions. A good conversation and making authentic connectiosn with other people is a good sign that your communications skills are improving and strong.

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