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The communication challenge

In our March Business section, The Digital Life Academy founder Irene Williams talked to us about the nuts and bolts of how to manage the onslaught of digital information coming at us and vying for our attention every day, how to organize our digital assets and how to determine the need and purpose of your social media interactions.

This month, Carly Fiorina addresses the topic in her Leadership Matters e-newsletter (https://bit.ly/3KjvrSb) from the perspective of the challenges that the digital information onslaught poses for leaders and communicators, and how to cut through the noise and engage your audience with a clear, compelling message. 

– Lesley Goddin

Two decades ago, I talked about a world becoming increasingly Digital, Mobile, Virtual, and Personal (DMVP). Today, this transformation is all around us, accelerated and amplified by the pandemic. As the world shifts, the significance of effective communication in leadership is more critical than ever.

Navigating the DMVP landscape, where attention spans are shorter, and distractions are abundant, requires leaders to refine their communication skills. To truly connect and resonate with your audience, you must focus on the essence of your message, rather than just its superficial appeal.

Let’s explore the essential elements of a leader’s communication in the DMVP era.

  • Clarity of purpose: Be precise and succinct about what you want to communicate. Eliminate unnecessary information, and focus on the core message you want to convey.
  • Engage your audience: Communication is a two-way process. Aim to establish genuine connections with your audience rather than simply broadcasting your message. Understanding their perspectives will help ensure your message resonates.
  • Establish a connection: The most effective communication occurs when your message is received, understood, and has a meaningful impact on your audience’s thoughts or actions. Connect with your audience on a personal level, demonstrating empathy and understanding.
  • Evaluate the outcome: Measure the success of your communication by assessing whether the intended outcomes have been achieved, both immediately and over time. Reflect on the process and adapt your approach accordingly.

While it’s tempting to prioritize the “style” of communication, it’s essential to remember that authenticity, credibility, and connection are the cornerstones of effective communication.

  • Be authentic: Embrace your unique voice, and avoid imitating someone else’s style.
  • Maintain credibility: Ground your message in your own knowledge and experience. Don’t try to deceive or fabricate information.
  • Foster connection: Show genuine care and interest in your audience. Be willing to reveal something about yourself and learn about those with whom you’re communicating.

Ultimately, remember that effective communication hinges on the substance of the messenger and the message itself. Focus on the “steak” rather than the “sizzle.”   

Carly Fiorina
Founder and Chairman at Carly Fiorina Enterprises

Carly Fiorina has spent decades building diverse, high-performance teams and advising Fortune 500 executives on strategy, culture, and communications. Today, as the Founder and Chairman of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, she counsels companies to create an equitable workplace culture, build high-performance teams, foster female leaders, enable diversity and inclusion, and teach the fundamentals of leadership.  An author, she also offers keynote speaking, consulting, and leadership development.

For more information, visit www.carlyfiorina.com.

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