If you want to spur your team to innovate new ideas, it helps if you communicate with passion. Convey your vision with enthusiasm so that others get excited as well.
Better yet, inject charisma into your delivery. Speak with dynamism to light a fire under your audience. They will come away more motivated to find new ideas after listening to you.
A charismatic leader doesn’t need to fit the stereotype of a flashy, fast-talking loudmouth who gesticulates on stage and speaks in overly dramatic tones. You can establish a strong executive presence simply by being yourself. Authenticity boosts your magnetism.
“Leaders are always best adhering to a style that’s authentic to them,” said Maren Perry, founder and president of New York City-based Arden Coaching.
Exhibiting emotional intelligence helps you spark new ideas from your team, she says. That means looking people in the eyes, empathizing with them and harnessing your emotions so that you forge connections with those you want to reach.
Here are concrete ways to communicate with people looking for new ideas.
Highlight Others’ New Ideas
When challenging people to propose new ideas, lace your remarks with their input. Show that you’ve listened to them and framed your vision around what you’ve learned.
“If people have given you their ideas, they’re telling you their pain points,” Perry said. “You’ve got to be interested in their ideas. People want to feel they’re heard,” and they will be more apt to embrace your pursuit of innovation if you demonstrate that you value what they have to say.
Turn New Ideas Into A Give And Take
Speak clearly so that your team understands why new ideas matter. Your nonverbal cues need to reinforce your message.
“Put yourself in an active position,” said Jun Medalla, a partner at Exec-Comm, a New York City-based consulting firm. “Sit in the front half of the chair so that your weight is on your toes. Most people sit back in the chair; then they’re more passive.”
Gesture The Right Way
Overuse of gestures gets distracting, especially if you keep waving your hands in front of your face. That severs eye contact with your audience.
A better approach: Use gestures judiciously to underscore your points.
“Show me what you’re talking about,” Medalla said. “Use your hands to help articulate what you want to say.” If you’re explaining a three-prong innovative strategy, for instance, hold up the appropriate number of fingers as you introduce each point.
Unleash Your Energy
You can be a brilliant visionary. But if you communicate in a lifeless manner, others won’t feel compelled to help you find new ideas.
“You want to release energy in a productive way,” Medalla said. Vary your voice tone, shifting from a lower pitch to a higher volume depending on the topic at hand. Slouching or mumbling works against you.
Generate A Freewheeling Exchange
Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you need to do all the talking. People are more likely to innovate boldly if you welcome their involvement.
“Innovative leaders have to bring out creative problem-solving,” said Suzanne Bates, who runs a Boston-based leadership development firm. “So they create a safe environment for people to share everything and they foster communication and collaboration among their team.”
Balance Confidence With Humility
Charismatic speakers risk coming across as pompous. Their flashiness can dissuade others from speaking up with new ideas.
“Too much confidence can be an over-strength,” Bates said. “You need humility to ask questions and not be the one with all the answers.”
By: Morey Stettner
Published in Investor’s Business Daily – See the article