How Leaders Communicate, Part 2

play-stone-1738163_640There is a leader within you. Some people believe that leadership is a rare gift; that only a few are born with the raw material necessary to lead others. I don’t. I believe there’s a leader inside each and every one of us. We just have to choose to activate the potential we already have.

An easy way to identify a leader is through the words they use. People who have chosen to lead talk differently. They choose their words carefully in order to positively impact those around them. But not all leaders sound alike. There are different types of leaders and language typically reflects someone’s natural leadership style. Some are Visionaries – leaders who inspire us to dream and band together in pursuit of what’s possible. Others are Captains.

Captains are doers. They have a tendency for understanding the details as well as a drive to delegate. With a focus on the endgame, they create and execute strategies that move the team closer and closer to the goal.

The Captain’s strength is focus. Like the captain on a ship, this leadership style makes sure the right people are in the right place, doing the right job. They maintain efficiency so that effort is not wasted. Their language tends to focus on:

Goal-setting – Captains very clearly articulate what defines a win. They focus not just on the end result, but on the behaviors that lead to that result.

Delegating– Captains put the right person on a job and clearly spell out what is to be done.

Accountability – Captains hold people responsible for their actions. They are not afraid to apply appropriate consequences (both good and bad).

Ultimately, success for the Captain means achieving the goal. They’re happy when the game is won.

How Captains communicate:
* They know when to stop planning and start implementing.
* They take the initiative to make things happen.
* They delegate responsibilities and clarify job roles.
* They confront performance issues that need to be addressed.
* They consider the short and long-term consequences (pro and con) of decisions.

Things Captains say:
“Here’s how we win.”
“Here’s your role.”
“Here’s how you’re doing.”

Questions Captains ask:
“What needs to get done?”
“Who is the best person to accomplish this?”
“How are the members of the team performing?”

When Captains speak, they focus our attention. They lead us to act and leave us in a state of forward motion. Take a moment and think about your communication style. Do you actively share your expectations for performance? Do your words bring clarity to the job roles of those on your team? Do people leave you focused on the task at hand?

That’s how leaders communicate.

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