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Quality #1: How to Communicate and Listen Powerfully

In this blog series, I'll share 21 qualities to succeed as a leader in these complex times.

I assembled these 21 characteristics of healing leaders while writing my new book, Healing Leadership: How to Lead, Love, and Thrive in Business and Life. The first of those abilities is that a healing leader communicates effectively, including listening.

Communicating powerfully means that you can articulate to your team, to the people around you, precisely what you want to say to them, clearly, and express the intention with which you're saying it.

If you're speaking with your team, you are clear on the milestones, the vision for the work they're doing, how that vision and work fits into the company's big picture, and why it matters.

Those are the kinds of things you want to communicate to your team so that they can get behind you and get their buy-in. I learned this firs-hand as a professional over the last 30 years.

Here are two tried and true strategies to communicate more effectively and create mutually beneficial outcomes.

Advocate For Yourself

Communicating powerfully also means advocating for yourself.

Have you noticed people in your LinkedIn network announcing something like this: "I just finished ___ certification or completed ____ project!" What they are doing is advocating for themselves. Likewise, you can also do that by elevating the work that you are doing in the context of helping the company and the organization that you're working for achieve its mission.

Ask for What You Need

When we all rally, when we show up, when we do our best by articulating what we need, when we need it, and why it's important, the people around us can get behind us.

They can help us achieve the goals that we have personally and as a team. The company wins when the people around us know what our expectations are.

Most of us are looking to live harmoniously. Many of us dream about that. And one of the ways to achieve harmony is to communicate what you need when you need it. And to be kind about it, not to demand. Express what you need so that others know what you expect.

And if people can give you what you are needing, then that is a perfect alignment. If they can't, they can communicate what works for them and arrive at a resolution. That also creates alignment. However, how we ask is crucial to build, not destroy, trust and relationships.

Work and personal relationships fall apart when we demand something without any flexibility. When we demand, we don't express why the request is important. When we make it all about our authority, people don't get behind it. They may not understand the need from their perspective.

Typically, when we demand, others tend to push away, especially in our personal lives. People like to have choices, and simply the way we ask for what we need can make someone say yes or no to us.

From now on, become aware of how you are asking for what you need at work and home.

Stop Making Assumptions

Another phenomenon that occurs when we don't communicate powerfully is that we make assumptions. We assume that people should know what we want. "Why do I have to ask for help. It's obvious that I need help?"

It may be evident to you that you need to help the people around you. I have clients. I can't read their minds. So I ask them empowering questions so that I can understand what they need. That's how we communicate powerfully with each other.

If you are making assumptions that the people around you should know what you want and what you need, I would advise you and recommend something different.

Instead of assuming, ask.

Ask them what they know; what did you understand the problem to be? What do you think we need to do here? When they answer, you can validate whether your assumptions are correct.

Instead of assuming, let's validate that what you think somebody needs or knows is what they actually need or know.

Bringing It All Together

Asking for what you need without demanding and not making assumptions are two ways to improve your communication.

Observe how you're asking for what you need.

Are you demanding? Are you making a request and expressing why it is important, the purpose of that request?

Are you making assumptions about the people around you and what they need or know?

If you feel that the people around you are regularly letting you down, and if you blame them for the lack of communication or lack of alignment, then you have no control to fix it.

However, if you take 100% responsibility for the quality of the communication between you and anyone else in your organization or personal life, and you put it on yourself to improve it, you give yourself the control to significantly enhance the communication.

By communicating clearly with your team and loved ones, not making assumptions about what people need and know, asking and requesting what you need versus demanding it, you will notice the miscommunication will go away. And that is because you will be more explicit, and people understand much better what they need to be working on and what you expect from them.

As leaders, it always starts with us.

You can reach us at to set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how our programs can help you rise to your full leadership potential.

In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)

Coach Ginny 💕

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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a sought-after international motivational speaker & leadership coach, a career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.

Ginny specializes in partnering with organization to develop leadership teams at all levels of management. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.

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