Begin with the End in Mind – Effective Communication to Achieve Your Goals

As part of my high school and college speech teams, I learned that much of communication is performance training. Communication, of course, must be genuine but it helps to visualize and plan for the desired end result similar to rehearsing for a part in a play.

Here’s an example. Let’s say I have to deliver some bad news to a legal client. I prepare for that conversation in advance. I jot down notes about what I want to say and key points I need to cover but, more importantly, I focus on my end goal – delivering the news so that the client understands and accepts it but so that she also feels heard. Every part of my communication is then designed to help me achieve that goal including the tone of my voice, my rate of speech, the words I use and how I indicate that I’m listening to her concerns. These cues help me comfort my client while also conveying important information.

The next time you have to give a presentation or are planning a meeting with your boss, consider not just practicing your content but also your delivery. The right delivery can make a big impact.



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The issue for leadership, then, is not the fact that different people have a variety of ways of making sense of the world around them, but rather to what extent a given leader is constrained by his or her particular way of making sense.

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