The five languages of leadership love – Part 2

Following on from the previous blog, we continue our dive into why leaders need to understand love languages to lead ……

  1. Awareness of others

No one can get out of their own way until they are aware that their way is actually different.

Leaders who are successful in delivering communication in the shape and form that the other person prefers have a distinct advantage over those who don’t. They are dramatically increasing the chance that the message sent is the same as the message received.

Ways in which individuals give clues about their communication strategy preference:

  • Read between the lines: listen for clues that provide an indication of a person’s learning style. Visual people look up a lot and say visual terms like “see what I mean” or “let me have a look over it”. A feeling person (usually someone who likes to work with their hands), looks down when thinking and says things like “I have this gut feeling” or “ let me get back in touch with you”. An auditory person will look to the side when thinking and say things like “that rings true to me” or “I hear what you’re saying”.  This isn’t a silver bullet, although being aware of this helps a lot.
  • Speed:If a person tends to talk fast, you talk fast. If they talk slow, you do the same. If you ignore this then the other person is simply going to struggle with listening to you even before you start sending the message.
  • Body language: If person you are speaking to is animated, you should be animated and vice versa
  1. ‘Do you understand”

 This is one saying that you need to delete from your vocabulary. When I was a physical education teacher, I asked my Year Eight students whether or not they understood. Without fail, they all said “yes”. If you were to ask 40-year-old people if they understand, you would probably get exactly the same response even if they don’t understand.

So instead of using this term, get used to asking specific questions about the task you require people to do. For example, “What are the first two steps that you’re going to put in place to ensure this is a success?” From their answer, you are going to make a very accurate judgment as to whether they fully or partly understand the task or information you’ve provided them. It is essential that if they don’t answer that question well then do not allow them to walk away until they fully understand what is required.

  1. Flexibility

Flexibility could be the most important of all three (ISN’T THERE MORE THAN THREE?) ideas. Without a doubt, it is the key to success for the other three ideas. Highly effective communicators have a highly tuned sense that allows them to know whether the message is getting through. If you experience a time when you’re providing a message and it is very obvious that the person you’re communicating with does not understand, it is your role to step back and try another strategy and continue to repeat this until the message has been received. 

  1. Listening

The ability to fully understand people around you and build relationships that are needed to reach the levels of communication required for high performing organisations, starts and finishes with the skill of ‘listening”.

It is imperative that all leaders and all team members listen better than ever before. Once this has occurred the ability to provide required information, ask the best questions and simply support people in their endeavors will become seemingly easy.

Being able to communicate more effectively in either a leadership or non-leadership position is not hard, although becoming highly effective can seem complicated and requires an ongoing focus.

It is well worth the effort.

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