Great teachers are not always those who know the most. They are those who know how to communicate what they know best.
Of course, if they are the most knowledgeable on a subject AND they have great communication skills, there are amazing results for those they teach.
Why is this?
It is because teaching means someone has to be able to learn, and you can’t share what you know without good communication. Good communication connects. It connects students to new ideas and knowledge in a way they can apply in life.
Think about your favorite teacher.
- They communicated to you in a way that got your attention.
- Their way of communication conveyed a genuine care for you and what they were teaching.
- They brought you from your current level of understanding to a new level.
- They connected.
Leaders as Teachers
If you are a leader in business, stop for a minute and consider your role. You are there to guide your team into new thoughts, knowledge, ideas, and actions. In this sense, you are a teacher.
And as a teacher, mastering good communication will help you connect. Here are some ways you can do that well.
Knowing the strengths of each person on your team helps you communicate in ways that will connect. We tend to communicate according to our strengths. If you are a driven, dynamic leader, you are going to move swiftly and speak directly.
If you are working with someone who is also D-wired, this approach works great. It connects.
But if you are working with someone who is C- or S-wired, this approach presents a disconnect.
Be you, but adjust your style just a bit to connect more readily with your team. Adapt your tone, pace, and language to allow them to use their strengths of logic and details. Listen a little more than is natural for you.
And if you are a C- or S-wired leader with D- and I-wired members on your team, you may need to be more direct or make things more fun in order to connect. You will want to pick up the pace and speak succinctly.
Learning styles are tied to strengths styles. This is why teachers purposely appeal to different types of learning styles. The general styles are visual, auditory, logic (reading and writing), and kinesthetic.
Today’s meeting rooms are not so different than yesterday’s classrooms. We are still the same people, just grown up and with a little more life experience. This is why meetings should include visuals like whiteboards, pictures, and product demonstrations. They should also include a time for auditory learners to process their thoughts and ideas. Give time during the meeting and after to gather the feedback of those who are logical learners. Hands-on learners do well in meetings if they can move around or have something tangible at hand to keep them focused.
This one is universal. We all use our five senses to assess a situation or an experience: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. When you remember a place, an event, or a person, it is generally in the context of these five senses.
This is especially important in days of online calls and meetings. Find creative ways to appeal to more of the five senses in order to engage with your team. Even having “coffee chats,” where each person brings their own coffee to a Zoom call adds to the five senses approach of connecting. It makes it a shared experience.
As a leader, ask yourself, “How well am I connecting with my team?”
If you’re sensing a disconnect, developing these skills will make you a better leader…the kind of leader who connects.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.