In the world of human interaction, communication acts as a conductor, harmoniously guiding interactions with words. However, even minor misunderstandings can lead to significant issues.
Effective communication is especially crucial for leaders in the corporate world. Their words hold immense power, steering the course of their teams and organisations. But what makes communication truly impactful? Is it the style of leadership or the ability to listen? Let us look at the two common types of leadership:
As a leadership style, quiet contemplation focuses on active listening, clarity and mindfulness. It involves taking a step back from the spotlight and creating an environment conducive to thoughtful reflection.
“By not always taking centre stage, leaders using this style empower their teams, encouraging them to contribute and share their perspectives,” observes Rajesh Rai, HR head, GlobalLogic.
This approach allows leaders to harness their creative abilities, leading to improved leadership qualities and the capability to effectively inspire and steer their teams.
Leaders require the ability to speak confidently, but they also need to engage in thoughtful reflection. Confident communication showcases strength and decision-making. However, quiet contemplation is also important. In fact, taking time to think helps build confidence and inner strength. These qualities blend harmoniously such as a melodious symphony, birthing genuine self-assurance from within.
“There are times and audiences when a confident communication-based leadership style too is needed in today’s (rather loud) world, to bring attention to the centre. Such leadership style not only showcases self-esteem and self-assurance but exhibits transparency and conviction, which results in establishing credibility and trust with the audience,” emphasises Rai.
“There are times and audiences when a confident communication-based leadership style too is needed in today’s (rather loud) world, to bring attention to the centre”
Rajesh Rai, HR head, GlobalLogic
“Just as a recipe requires all ingredients to taste good, leadership demands a balanced fusion of both styles. Depending on the situation or task at hand, a leader should skilfully mix confident communication and contemplation, crafting an effective leadership approach,” explains Pradyumna Pandey, HR head, manufacturing, Hero MotoCorp.
For any strategic decision, contemplation is necessary so that all the inputs are taken into consideration and all available options are weighed before making a move. Contemplation should not become a hurdle in the way of making quick decisions. Given the pace at which the world is moving, timely decision-making is of utmost importance for any organisation to grow and charge ahead. Hence, while contemplation is extremely important, timely decision-making is equally crucial.
Pandey strongly believes in transparently communicating the reasons behind decisions. Taking time for contemplation allows leaders to consider all the pros and cons, making effective communication essential. By confidently conveying the insights gained, understanding and trust among stakeholders is fostered. This open approach reinforces the organisation’s vision and aligns everyone towards shared goals, forging a cohesive and purpose-driven path to success.
“Depending on the situation or task at hand, a leader should skilfully mix confident communication and contemplation, crafting an effective leadership approach”
Pradyumna Pandey, HR head, manufacturing, Hero MotoCorp
Technology helps in contemplation
In today’s fast-paced world, contemplation has evolved with the help of technology, which gives people access to a lot of data and information. Data analytics has made decision-making easier for leaders by providing valuable insights. This technology-driven contemplation has become essential for leaders in various fields, who understand complex situations better and identify challenges and opportunities with the help of data.
Pandey recognises the importance of using data and thinking carefully when making decisions. He suggests that leaders should combine data-backed decision-making with confident communication to guide their teams and stakeholders. By embracing this dynamic approach, leaders can make well-informed decisions and lead their organisations with precision and purpose. The combination of technology-driven contemplation and confident communication becomes a guiding compass for success.
Veikas K Khokha, CHRO, Dhanuka Agritech, explains the significance of effective communication with an example. If someone raises a query about the cash-management system, there are two possible approaches to address the same. The first approach involves stating the rule change and expecting compliance. However, the second approach is far more impactful. It entails engaging in a one-on-one conversation, taking the person into confidence and delving into their goals, career growth and past progression within the organisation. By considering the bigger picture and the individual’s potential contributions to the organisation’s future, the conversation becomes more fruitful and meaningful. When communication is comprehensive and inclusive, it empowers individuals and fosters a deeper understanding, creating a positive and productive environment for all.
“By putting the organisation’s interest first, conversations become wholesome and inclusive, fostering a two-way exchange of ideas instead of one-sided monologues. This approach leads to better collaboration and alignment, benefiting the organisation as a whole and promoting a cohesive and successful environment”
Veikas K Khokha, CHRO, Dhanuka Agritech
“Communication is most effective when it prioritises the interests of the organisation rather than individual desires. By putting the organisation’s interest first, conversations become wholesome and inclusive, fostering a two-way exchange of ideas instead of one-sided monologues. This approach leads to better collaboration and alignment, benefiting the organisation as a whole and promoting a cohesive and successful environment,” says Khokha.
Leaders who listen less vs those who listen more
In the present environment, creating alignment is very essential for effective leadership. Being a good listener plays a crucial role in achieving this alignment. It involves understanding and supporting others, fostering open and meaningful conversations. On the contrary, leaders who solely focus on expressing their views without listening may create an environment where it’s ‘my way or the highway.’
“By embracing active listening, leaders can empathetically understand others, building strong connections. This understanding empowers them to confidently communicate their vision and align it with others’,” asserts Khokha.
Embracing both quiet contemplation and confident communication is essential for effective interaction. These two styles of leadership complement each other and create a harmonious balance in guiding teams and stakeholders. Active listening with empathy fosters understanding, while authentic communication inspires and motivates others. Striking this harmonious blend nurtures meaningful connections and cultivates a culture of growth and respect.