Article Crafting Clear and Impactful Communication as a Leader

‘Once said, words cannot be unsaid, so pick your words carefully, especially when speaking in public.’ This golden nugget of advice from the best leader I ever worked under has stuck with me throughout the years and I felt it was worth passing on. As a responsible leader, the words we share with our colleagues carry a lot of weight and have the potential to resonate within the mind of the listener well beyond the moment of being heard. If these words we share add value, clarify understanding, or lead to the creation of increased motivation and drive within our colleagues, great. But what do we do when we say something that was off the mark, accidentally hurtful or just plain wrong?

‘Once said, words cannot be unsaid, so pick your words carefully, especially when speaking in public.’

Taking the advice of Stephen Covey would be a wise action to take although it requires bravery and the ability to admit we were wrong. For some time now, as soon as I realise that I said something that was off the mark, I try to reestablish an understanding of my true feelings with whoever I shared the mistake with. The sooner it is done, the sooner I can reaffirm what I stand for in the mind of the person or persons I was speaking with when I made my verbal faux pas. Pleasantly, I have found that most people are willing to forgive and move on. A concomitant benefit is that people seem to respect me more for my honesty and willingness to admit fault. It also allows me to role model the behaviours I wish to see in my colleagues.

Even though I try to follow the golden nugget shared earlier about thinking before speaking I cannot always be perfect with my communication but when I am not, I’m doing my best to acknowledge my fallibility and make up for it. How about you? One of the benefits that users of OurSails report is the ability to create private notes about the meeting ahead of time. This helps them to have a clear sense of the points they wish to make ahead of the meeting or the questions they wish to ask. This forethought helps the users to avoid the faux pas and deliver a focussed and intentional message in their meetings which leads to better outcomes for everyone involved.

Navigating the narrow path between impactful expression and potential missteps requires self-awareness, humility, and the tools to empower effective communication. By embracing a commitment to continuous improvement, accountability, and utilising resources like OurSails, leaders can cultivate an environment where words not only carry weight but also contribute to the collective success of the team. I wish you well as you aim to make your words count.

  • Align to avoid confusion.
  • Collaborate to avoid suspicion.
  • Succeed without despair.