Whether there’ll be a Super Bowl and/or an NCAA College Football Championship game played in 2021 is to be determined. As uncertainties surrounding our lives continue during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, we’re reminded that championships both on and off fields are won and lost on the fundamentals of the game.
Right now, we’re all leading in what feels like a championship game with intensities, unknowns and demands like we’ve never before experienced. When it comes to this season of leadership, a key distinctive in our wins and losses lies in the fundamental of communication.
Few would argue that effective communication easily ranks as one of the top five most necessary leadership skills for any influencer - at any level, in any industry, role, sphere or country. Thousands of books have been written on it, we spend lifetimes trying to master it, and how it’s done often becomes what we’re most known for outside of anything else.
It’s not just what we say, it’s who we say it to, when we say it, and how we say it….and certainly, if it’s received as intended, or if it’s misunderstood or flat-out rejected. Undoubtedly, the daily recaps we’re all privy to through endless channels show us that communication is the game-changer for leadership in our world today.
Exceptional communication can quickly become a hallmark of great leadership; equally so, poor communication can easily usher in water shed moments that totally turn the tide. Knowing this, we’re wise to remain committed to continuously refining our communication skills.
Greek lyrical poet Archilochus said, “We don’t rise to our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” Just like professional and collegiate athletes practice their sport daily, leaders are presented with constant game time scenarios right now that are anchored in communication.
3 C’s of Communication 101 during Crises
We can live with uncertainty, but we cannot lead without clarity.
Assumes nothing and is direct and forthcoming
“Over-communicate’ to offset decreases in executive functioning
Includes all necessary details
Avoids overwhelming people or bogging them down with unnecessary content
Shared through the right channel – 2D (text/email) for quick, factual info. shares and responses; 3D (in person/digital meeting/call) for emotionally charged issues or situations that need to be nuanced
Is strategic, answering the questions: Who? What? When? Follow-up? Who and what are we missing?
We can master, duplicate and scale what we do over and over again.
Customized cadence that works for you and your people
Frequency supports basic needs for all (becomes a strong structure/rhythm, which also increases executive functioning)
Honors the two-way street of communication – consistency increases likelihood that it’s both delivered AND received as intended
We can lead people to new levels only if we create calls to action.
Ushers in action and new levels of momentum
The high energy, belief and passion of the leader creates a connection point and inspires others who may be growing weary or have an empty tank
Fosters thriving instead of just surviving – growth and momentum do not result from “just getting by”; they result from staying in intentional motion; we become what we speak about
Calls to action inspire intentional movement that creates impact
The field of leadership is vast and wide, and game time is a constant as we lead in real time. The simple fundamentals of communication rarely change – the need to practice them just increases during times of challenge and crisis. Its championship season like we’ve never known before – make sure your communication is clear, consistent and catalytic to secure your next leadership win.