Primer On Becoming A Skilled Communicator

There are tons of resources out there to assist you in finding your voice or "inner TED talk." Communication skills are the focus of everything from marriage relationships to the boardroom. The onus, however, tends to be placed on how we craft our verbiage. As the old saying goes, there is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth.

In the philosophy of servant leadership, skilled communication is framed by listening more than by speaking. In wisdom literature found in the book of Proverbs the writer says, "The purposes of the mind are like deep water, but the intelligent will draw them out."

To open the mind of another human being requires going deep. One cannot engage with a person or effect new thinking before first entering into their thoughts, yearnings, feelings, ideas, and life experiences. And this requires a kind of listening that is channeled through empathy, love, and a deep desire to serve the needs of the other person when they are discovered.

Then and only then can you embark on the journey of "drawing out" or making meaning. At uLEAD we call the drawing out process - facilitation. It is a kind of skilled communication characterized by curiosity, wonder, and deep reverence for the moment and for the person.

So, instead of signing up for your local Toastmasters Club or practicing your oratory skills in front of the mirror, what if you spend today, tomorrow, and the next month laying down your agenda and expertise in order to open the space to go deep - to really listen - to the needs of your spouse, children, and co-workers? What if listening is the most important skill we have as communicators?

Ritch

Note: If you desire to learn more about strengthening your facilitation and listening skills go to www.leadership3.org and check out Train the Trainer: The Facilitative Leader