Speak Like a Leader: Essential Executive Communication Skills

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If you’ve ever said something to someone, thinking you were crystal clear, only to find they took it a whole different way, keep reading. We’re going to cover what could be the secret weapon for your success as a business owner: executive communication skills.

Imagine this: a project stalls because your team didn’t quite get what you meant during a meeting. Or, a potential big client starts to pull away because one conversation didn’t feel right. In executive communication, these small tone mishaps can lead to big losses in the long run.

It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. The right tone builds trust and gets things done. The wrong one? It can slow everything down.

In this article, you’ll see how to turn your words from mere sounds into leadership power tools, through effective communication skills. This way you’ll motivate your team to push their boundaries while eliminating any resistance that so often appears in day-to-day interactions.

What is Tone in Communication?

Eliminate unintended reactions in other people during conversations. In executive communication, when you talk, it’s not just the words that matter. It’s how you sound. That’s tone. Think of it like this: tone is the vibe or mood you set when you speak.

It’s the frustration that comes when you have to repeat yourself to someone; it’s the excitement that someone senses when you’re presenting an idea you’re passionate about. Why is it important? And why do we want to work on it through dedicated executive communication training?

Because it changes the whole message you’re trying to convey.

Unintended Tone in Executive Communication Skills

Ever said something and got a reaction you didn’t expect? That’s tone at work. A simple request can sound like a demand if said with the ‘wrong’ tone. Or a genuine question might come off as sarcastic, causing unintended consequences.

executive communication skills

For instance, consider a phone call where someone said to the other person, “call me back when you’re done eating.” Seems like a reasonable request, right? But the tone used made it sound like a snide remark about eating habits. Just imagine how different that call back would have been with a friendlier tone.

If you’re leading a team or dealing with clients, getting your tone right through the appropriate executive communication skills is crucial. A misstep here can throw off deals or make others second-guess themselves.

The Impact of Your Tone as a Leader

Think of Martin Luther King Jr. His powerful speeches weren’t just about the words he used, but how he delivered them. Your tone as a leader can have a similar impact. Effective communication is your business’s secret weapon.

Get it right, and you’ll be seen as respectful and understanding, much like King was when he spoke about dreams and equality. But get it wrong, and it could come across as impatient or even disrespectful.

Apply Leadership Communication in Business

It’s not just about the words you say but how you say them. When your tone matches your words, your team will trust you more. But if they clash? It can confuse your team and make them doubt you.

Mistakes in tone often happen in tense situations: tough meetings, tight deadlines, or when addressing mistakes. Maybe you’ve been there? You wanted to give constructive feedback, but your tone made it sound like you were laying blame. Or you asked for better results but sounded more like you were scolding than guiding.

natural communicator

Such slip-ups can hurt your team’s spirit. It can make them feel uneasy, less engaged, or even start doubting your intentions. Over time, this can block open chats, where your team might hold back their ideas. And if it keeps up? They might even look for a friendlier workplace.

Now that we understand the impact tone has in your communication, let’s take a look at the practical steps you can take today to improve the impact you have through your words.

2 Steps to Achieve a Neutral & Natural Tone

Step 1: Breathe to Your Center

Start breathing to your center every time you enter a conversation with someone. As a leader with executive presence, your communication should be grounded, and that grounding starts with being present. Imagine the difference in your conversations if every word you said was backed by genuine intention to be there in the moment.

You see, true communication goes beyond words; it’s about the unspoken connection you establish. And how do you ensure this connection? By being entirely in that moment. This sense of presence makes the person you’re communicating with feel valued and heard. They’re more inclined to engage when they see your full attention is on them.

A simple yet transformative technique to help you achieve this is focusing on your breath. Prioritize deep, belly breaths over shallow chest ones. These breaths instill a sense of calm and grounding. With this calm, you effortlessly shift your attention from internal distractions to the individual in front of you. By being genuinely present, you’re not just refining your communication; you’re deepening the relationship.

Step 2: Ensure Affinity

Create memorable experiences with people by conveying a sense of affinity. When we talk about affinity, we’re going beyond just good rapport. It’s about forging a bond that makes every business interaction feel deeply personal and genuine. Those leaders who’ve captured their teams’ hearts aren’t simply good at their jobs; they cause an impact. Their team members feel connected, valued, and motivated to communicate effectively.

Building Successful Partnerships

Tapping into non-verbal communication is your gateway to this affinity. Eye contact, active listening & a desire to understand what the other person is experiencing are powerful tools to show genuine interest. Before any interaction, make it a ritual to be present. Take a moment to ground yourself, letting go of any tension. This act alone sends a message: ‘I’m here, fully, with you.’

The Power of Affinity

Remember, even in disagreements, your affinity should remain unwavering. It’s tempting for our emotions to show through our body language, leading to unintended tone and more often than not, negative responses and consequences. However, maintaining that connection can transform these challenging moments into opportunities for growth.

In essence, if you wish to have a neutral and natural tone, start with affinity. Showcase genuine care and empathy that goes beyond just formalities. This isn’t about a transactional relationship; it’s about building a bond that makes every interaction fruitful.

Conclusion – Executive Communication Skills

Think back to those instances when maybe your words said one thing, but your tone hinted at something different. Have you felt the ripple effects of such moments on your team’s motivation, engagement, or output? Recognising the sheer impact of tone isn’t just a revelation; it’s the starting line to sharper, more effective leadership.

Building an Executive Communication Plan

At Advanced Business Abilities, we’re not just about pushing you into maximising your results as a business owner. We’re about removing the resistance that is currently holding you back from breakingthrough to the next level. And how do we do that?

Mike Irving ABA executive coach

Schedule a discovery session with Mike Irving and find out. This is an opportunity to dive into your communication patterns, especially those subtle shifts in tone, and plot a course for rapid enhancement.

With our combined efforts, we aim for you to lead not just with words, but with unmistakable confidence, clarity, and genuine authenticity. Book a call with Mike here.

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