Leaders are bestowed with a great gift. They have the capacity to shape individuals, organizations, and nations. Without being cheeky, I will remind everyone of the wisdom given to Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
All too often in corporate America, our leaders see the power in their actions, their decisions, how they choose to structure teams and deals but not in their words. The power of a leader and their words should never be underestimated. And this does not only apply to CEO's and Managing Partners, if you manage even one person, your actions and words have an indelible influence on them.
I can recall all of my supervisors, managers, coaches, and bosses and the interactions I had with these people have left a lasting impression on me. In many cases, these interactions have shaped me into the professional I am today. So, this begs the question, what will your impact be and how can you choose the language that will be most beneficial in reaching that impact?
At Fringe, we spend a lot of time thoughtfully crafting these messages with managers and leaders and we have compiled our top tips for making a positive impact through your communications below.
One quick note: These suggestions work no matter what your goal is. Your impact can be anything you want it to be. We suggest that you spend time developing that goal and then deciding how best to communicate that goal.
- Be thoughtful: Once you have developed your goal, think critically about how to best communicate that goal. Who are the key decision makers you need on board? Who do you expect to push back and how will you manage those objections? Mapping these points out in advance will provide you with the confidence to have productive and challenging conversations with your team.
- Be generous: If you know what your vision is, SHARE that vision. Share it with your peers, your direct reports, their subordinates. Build a community of action around this goal and get everyone who can be involved, involved. By building grassroots support for your goals, you enlist an entire group of people who are willing to go to bat for your vision.
- Be courageous: It can be frightening for even the most experienced leaders to share their vision for a group or organization. We ask leaders to set lofty goals and we expect that they will deliver. A natural reaction is to keep these goals to yourself so no one will be disappointed if you come up short. But we know that sharing goals increases the likelihood that you will achieve them.