“For leaders everything communicates. Everything you say and do as a leader is closely watched and amplified.”
Clear communication is an important part of effective leadership. But how exactly does one communicate clearly? George Ambler recently posted a discussion about clear communication on his website, On Leading In Turbulent Times. In his post, Ambler draws on lessons learned from UCLA professor emeritus Albert Mehrabian’s book Silent Messages, citing his “7%-38%-55% rule”.
Mehrabian asserts that the meaning of any message delivered in person is communicated through facial expression, body language, tone of voice, and the words themselves. All of these facets need to be consistent to effectively convey a message. If there is a discrepancy in the way things are communicated, the nonverbal elements of the communication come through the most clearly.
Ambler expounds on the implications of the “7%-38%-55% rule”, noting that leaders are always sending a message, whether they are intending to or not. Most importantly, he suggests that leaders can build trust through action. Leaders should listen constantly, seek feedback and say only what they sincerely believe.
At Meritas Partners, our experienced executive coaches can help you hone your leadership skills, align your verbal and nonverbal communication, and build trust through consistent and coherent communication.