Communicate clearly, calmly, conversationally, and consistently.

As a business leader, most of your job includes your ability to communicate with other people. By far and away, the single biggest complaint about business leaders is “poor communication.” Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

Communicate clearly.

When you’re done talking did the other person or the other people understand what you said? One way to find out is to ask, “Please state in your own words what you heard me say?” If their remarks don’t match yours, don’t blame them by saying, “You’re not listening.” Instead say, “Okay, I realize I need to say that more clearly because that’s not what I meant.” Then explain your thoughts again with greater clarity.

Communicate calmly.

If you get overly intense, the other person will not hear your message because they will be tuned into, or turned off by, your expressions and the tone of your voice. If you stay calm, then the other person can focus on what it is you’re saying rather than on how you’re saying it.

Communicate conversationally.

Just talk the way you normally talk in a conversation. If you take on a different persona or a different tone or a different vocabulary when you commuicate with other people, they are going to wonder why you’re not just being yourself.

Communicate consistently.

If one day you say you are all about customer service and the next day you say that your number one priority is bottom-line profit on every sale, you will confuse people. If you yell one day and whisper the next, people will wonder what’s going on. Just be yourself on a conistent basis and give clear input in a conversationally calm manner.

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