So, recently, I had a call about some people serving in the top levels of a company. As a group, they are tasked with pretty important responsibilities. A budget in the many millions. Organizing and overseeing big, big projects. And, a set of skills that they have developed that bring the admiration of the many they lead, and success to their endeavors.
But, for a few of them, they have had the same problem for — well, maybe, probably, their entire career.
Their problem – they are not all that good in front of an audience. Their presentation skills (speaking skills) do not match their other skills.
And, every one of them has watched speakers who are good (and others, not so good). They have had to give plenty! of presentations. But they have apparently not gotten much better at this.
How to explain this?
Simple… they think this is not worthy of their time. If they thought it was, they would tackle this issue as they do other issues that require attention and work. They would read, watch themselves on video, critique their own speaking, asking:
How are my gestures?
How is my diction, my enunciation?
Do I avoid speaking in a monotone?
Am I engaging my audience(s)?
Are my ideas easy to follow?…
In other words, they would work at getting better at this.
When one of the people they lead has a deficiency, they demand that that person seek help to improve, in order to get better. They should hold themselves to the same standard – the same need to improve in their areas of weakness.
The fact that they have not improved means that they haven’t taken it seriously enough.
Big, big mistake!
Until we have telepathic abilities, where we can just shoot our ideas from our own minds into others’ minds (someone’s bound to be working on this somewhere!), we have to rely on words and sentences and verbal presentations to get our ideas from our minds into the minds of others. And, any company that is bad-to-mediocre, (anything less than excellent), at this communication transfer is going to be frustrated, and discover that needed progress will be harder to come by because of their failures to communicate effectively.
If leaders want their people to get better at the tasks required to do a job well, it is time for leaders to get better at one of their jobs: the task of communicating.
So… ask yourself – are you getting any better at communicating clearly, in front of an audience, and through your e-mails, and in one-to-one conversations?
If not, then it’s time to tackle this communication challenge. GET BETTER AT IT!