How to Communicate Better As Leader

July 14, 2020

“Deb, do you like this?” she asked. You see it was Christmas time and she had given everyone gifts. You know those kinds of gifts that seem thoughtless (usually cheaply made from a clearance rack or dollar store) and everyone does an inner gag while smiling and saying, “oh thank you so much” even though they’re probably going to give it away anyway.  

“No, I don’t like it.” she answered politely. “What? Excuse me? Deb, did you say that you didn’t like it?” she inquired again. “No, I don’t like it.” she repeated. 

Every Christmas after that my Grandma would make sure that she was more thoughtful when buying gifts for her daughter-in-law and would eagerly wait to hear an answer knowing she’d be honest with her.

Let’s be clear, my Mother wasn’t a hater, she was a truth teller. 

She could’ve been like everyone else in that room (and after saying thank you) when asked “if they liked it” nodded their head and said yes, because it’s the gift that counts, right? 


No. My Mother wasn’t a liar. She was a truth teller. 


And that’s probably what I miss most about her. In a world of ass kissers, and people pleasers, it’s very rare to find someone who will tell you the truth. 


A leader is a truth teller.


A leader understands that you can speak your mind and be kind at the same damn time.


A leader is direct and has respect. 


A leader understands that their followers are leaders and they deserve better than to be led by a sugar coater.


You can spend hours Googling a plethora of methods when it comes to communication, and play with words to sound more professional or special or whatever. 


But let me share a not-so-secret secret: if you remove the filter, you will communicate far better as a leader.


Honesty is a quality that very humans have and I’m not talking about morality (most people are good, law abiding citizens) this is about integrity within yourself. 


What does that look like in practice?

Start small.

You order a meal, and it’s too warm/too cold/burnt… when the server asks you how do you like your meal? You share the truth.


“No, I don’t like it.”

“No, I don’t like it. It’s burnt/mushy/undercooked…”


Expect judgment. 

Yes, people will judge you. And they’re already judging you anyway, you may as well live life how you like and care more about your own approval than that of anyone else. 


Expect disapproval.

Yes, people will not like you. And would you rather they like you for someone who you’re pretending to be instead? 


Strong muscles.

You’ll notice that when you start being honest with yourself in the small things, you’ll grow your confidence to be honest in big things. 


Brag book.

You are good at keeping track of what you’re doing wrong or how you messed up here or there. Let’s flip the script. Keep track of your wins in a notebook, digital notepad or voice memo. You neglect what you don’t celebrate.

Hi! I’m Melodee Forbes, and I help leaders declutter their calendar, so they can create more time for self care. I’d be happy to support you in decluttering your physical items and digital systems. You can start to create more self care by clicking here.

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