To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say
Learning how to develop and convey a more strategic voice when communicating with others in the organization is important for leaders. What you say, when you say it, how you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it in the proper context are critical components for tapping into your full potential as a leader. For those looking to establish credibility and influence people, be concise and let individuals know clearly what role you want them to play in the discussion. "It's also important to demystify the content of any message you deliver by avoiding jargon and being a person of few — but effective — words," author Rebecca Shambaugh writes.

The author details several coaching strategies she uses frequently to help executives develop a more strategic voice. The first is to understand the context in which you will be operating. Shambaugh states, "Knowing or finding out in advance what your expected role is in a group forum or event can guide you in determining the kind of voice you need for that venue." Second, be a visionary. In this regard, the goal is to take an enterprise view that focuses less on one's self and more on the broader organization. Third, build your strategic thinking by leveraging relationships more intentionally, with specific goals in mind. Fourth, Shambaugh says a strong voice focuses on finding solutions, not just pointing out problems. Finally, "stay calm in the pressure cooker," Shambaugh concludes.
Harvard Business Review (10/31/17) Shambaugh, Rebecca
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