Monthly Archives: April 2016

Effective communication – where to start?

capture heartLast week I listened to four of our presidents answer the question, “why would I ever want to be a president?” at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Executive Leader Development seminar. Each of them shared a story with our participants that made us smile, or cringe, or laugh, or even tear up a bit. The communication styles were very different but what made each message powerful was how it captured our hearts in one way or another. We actually could feel why they loved being a president!

Their messages reminded me of Anita’s post, “Know your why” from January of this year. Each president was able to effectively communicate their why. Over the weekend I discovered a set of YouTube talks by Simon Sinek, the author of “Start With Why.” If you are looking for ideas to sharpen your communication and capture the hearts of your people Sinek provides a framework and examples in each video. I hope you find them as valuable as I did.

The first video answers the question I posed in the title, “How to begin your presentation.”

He reminds us to:

  • leave the facts and figures until later
  • start with the feeling or emotion you want everyone to walk away with
  • use stories or images

During the month of April we will be sharing additional ideas, examples and resources on effective leadership communication. I invite you to share with your fellow readers any resources you have found valuable as you developed your communication style.

Todd Thorsgaard

Communication and leadership

CommunicateI’m seeing a pattern. As we were writing last month about building relationships and valuing diversity, the conversation often turned to communication.

We discussed everything from overcoming Minnesota Nice to learning from other disciplines to being stuck at the airport with a colleague. In all these situations, one element of success was building genuine dialogue.

It seems to make sense that the next MnSCU leadership competency is communicating effectively. This month we’ll look at ways to:

  • Effectively convey ideas and share information with others using appropriate methods
  • Listen carefully and understand differing points of view
  • Present ideas clearly and concisely

Have you found that communication is often a building block to achieving your leadership goals?

Dee Anne Bonebright