There are many tools in the toolbox of the leader but understanding the “go to” tools are key to consistent high performance. Communication is the crescent wrench of the leader. It’s versatile and can fix many issues. It’s easy to use if you know the proper way to utilize its benefits. Conversely, if you can’t properly use this tool, you simply will not become an effective leader.
Communication is the most versatile tool of a leader. If used properly it can move people from simply following authority to being influenced into buying in. It directs people into the activities that bring the greatest collective effect, and generates the greatest outcome for the team through culture. It guides people into proper processes and behaviors that increase individual output in their specific roles and responsibilities.
Below are three principles of using the crescent wrench of leadership:
Core - What’s your message? You must have a core message to your staff, and your followers. If you don’t, you simply aren’t leading them into anything. Without a core message there isn’t anything for them to buy into. You can define your core message (for the time being) by evaluating your greatest need as an organization. Where can your organization make the greatest gains? What is the one thing that will make the biggest impact? That should be at the core of your dialogue.
Clarity - A message must be distilled down into it’s purest form to ensure that people get it! You might have a message but if it’s not clear, they can’t take it and run with it. When a message isn’t prepared and presented with clarity, people will leave confused and frustrated. When a message is prepared and presented with clarity people become invigorated with understanding and direction.
Consistency - Nobody gets a message in just one communication moment. That’s why people advertise (convey their message) over long periods of time. It takes time for a message to sink into someone's head, through their internal noise, their issues, urgencies and insecurities. You have to be a disciplined, patient communicator which means you will need deliver the message on a regular basis.
We all have the communication tool at our disposal, but the results of communication vary depending on how people use it. These three principles will make you a more effective communicator.