Iron-clad communication tip! Ready? Here it is: As the communicator, converse at the same altitude as your audience. Let me break this down a bit. People naturally settle on a certain altitude when they are communicating. Whether this be at work or in life outside of work, some of us love to worm our way through the weeds. Others prefer to be high enough to see the curvature of the earth. Many of us are in between. None are right. None are wrong. The trouble is when you are a weeds person who is talking to a 10,000′ person. Or, when you are a 10,000′ person talking to a 50,000′ person. Or, when you are anybody communicating to anybody else who is not at your altitude. Here’s what happens: We are speaking our language, but the other person is bored because you are admiring every dandelion, or they are lost because you are detailing the weather patterns over another country. Quickly after the disconnect manifests, the frustration sets in. “Don’t they know how important these details are!?! (low altitude)” Or, “Can’t we just get to the heart of the matter!?! (high altitude)” The key for future leaders? Discover your audience’s altitude and modulate your communication style so you are on the same plane. Remember, leaders bend as much as possible for the ultimate goal.
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.