I’ve been reading and sharing about how leadership communication can create more powerful impact with people. In my last post, I shared the first two of the seven power cues from author Nick Morgan in Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014):
- Non-verbal communications
- Unconscious messages
- Leadership voice
- Social signals
- Reprogramming the unconscious
- Synchronizing with stories
Here are three more power cues that leaders can practice to improve the impact of communications:
- Unconscious Messages: Read others’ unconscious messages. Observe your own mirror-neuron experiences. Become attuned to the hidden messages sent out by everyone around you.
- Leadership Voice: You can turn your voice into a commanding instrument that helps you take charge of a room. Fine-tune your voice to lead your peers.
Each of us emits low-frequency sounds when we speak — tones that help convey our leadership presence. People unconsciously defer to leaders who produce stronger low-frequency sounds. You can learn to increase your voice’s leadership potential through breathing dynamics, vocal exercises and practicing vocal tonality. Some leaders choose to work with a voice coach.
- Social Signals: The fifth power cue combines your voice and a host of other social signals to greatly increase your success in pitches, meetings, sales situations and the like. What signals do you send out in work and social situations? Establish the right levels of energy and passion to win the contract, negotiation or raise. MIT researchers have pinpointed four patterns of behavior that predict success or failure in key human interactions:
o Influence – Boost your positional power, emotion or expertise. Control the give-and-take tempo of a conversation.
o Mimicry – Consciously copy others and then lead them.
o Activity – Focus more intently on the conversation, meeting or presentation.
o Consistency – Increase your consistency to gain support; decrease it to show openness.
What do you think about these ideas? I think they make perfect sense, but like many good ideas, they’re only good when put into practice. Great leadership communications don’t always come easily.
In the work I do coaching people, we have a chance to discuss and design action steps.
Like anything, deliberate practice creates progress; but you can’t always be the best judge of yourself. That’s why working with a coach is essential.