There can be some very definite challenges in our communication with teams, clients, prospects and peers. We are mostly moving too fast to communicate well while trying to complete a “to do” list that is probably way too long to accomplish ever.

If you had to give yourself a grade right now regarding your communication, what would it be? Hopefully an A+…most leaders give themselves a B-.

It is not that we have forgotten how to communicate, we do not take the time to be thorough and many times don’t have a clue of the outcome we want from communicating with anyone. Fast returns of text messaging is not good communication…it is just fast.

Some questions/thoughts to ask yourself or the that creates communication clarity and powerful/content rich outcomes.

  1. Know what you want as an outcome from the communication. Is it accountability and meeting deadlines? Is it better research and data? Is it being clear during a yearly performance review? What is the outcome you want for you and the person(s) you are communicating with. The best part of knowing what you want is that it will keep you on communication task and not allow long/tedious sidebars of not needed information.
  2. What is the data, information or historical content that needs to be referenced during the communication? Have that ready and know it feeds into the outcome and communication clarity.
  3. Consider stop judging the other(s) while listening to your own head junk and ask them for their opinion on the information. You do not already know the solution unless you get their opinion. Your data/information is totally colored by your opinion, not theirs. Getting the other(s) opinion will help you create real results and clarity. It will also clue you in with how you listen (or don’t listen).
  4. Give immediate feedback that shows you are listening. Use words like: “interesting point; tell me more; good data; nice job; thanks for letting me know.” Be inclusive whether you are in person or on the Zoom/Team screen.
  5. When the communication is done, ask if there is anything else? (What Natalie, this has taken too long to begin with.) People feel listened to and asking if there is anything else will gain you some powerful data/information that might not have gotten discussed but is important to the communication.
  6. Thank them. Seems like this would be pretty simple, but it is many times not expressed. THANK THEM, especially if the data and opinions they shared helped you get more clear about what is most important and supported the outcome you needed.

There is never a time that I do not have an agenda of what I want as an outcome for my coaching clients. BUT I always ask them what is most important to them to discuss. Many times our coaching is even more effective and powerful because my coaching clients take care of themselves and what is on their mind.


All leaders need to communicate their interest and caring. By getting the opinion during a conversation, you get to learn so much more rather than just retaining your limited opinion of thinking you know what is what…you don’t. And if you do, you can add to the clarity by asking them for their opinion.

May I help?

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