Communication and empathy are the basis of all social and relationship skills, and a core competency of emotional intelligence. Nadler states that the communication competency includes listening with an open mind, sending convincing and clear messages, and cultivating an empathetic give-and-take. The empathy competency includes understanding other people and being actively interested in other people’s concerns, thoughts, and feelings.
John Davies, founder of Davies Public Relations, is a Star Performer in communication, and his 11 Secrets & Current Practices are shared:
1. Touch The Heart. Davies believes the key to effective communication is to arouse emotions in people. Emotions are more important than logic.
2. Understand What People Want. He places client’s needs and their vision of success above his own capabilities and asks pertinent questions to be sure there is a good fit and his services can add bone fide value for a client.
3. Find Your Passion. A person who is passionate communicates in a convincing, persuasive, and genuine manner. Davies defines passion as “being your best without any compromise or change.”
4. Find Your Uniqueness. Giving voice to people’s strengths and unique abilities increases self- expression and enhances communication.
5. Read People. Engaging an audience involves being able to read non-verbal communication and discern what listeners are feeling and thinking. The ability to read people and their cues allows leaders to connect with their employees.
6. Acknowledge/Do Not Offend. Davies is cognizant that people need to know that they are being heard and their ideas are being taken into account. When conducting meetings, he never offends or threatens people and creates a safe environment to discuss ideas. Communication cannot be fostered in a divergent environment.
7. Summarize And Integrate. An effective communication strategy to is summarize what someone is saying and feed it back to him or her. After that is accomplished, it is possible to integrate new strategies and information to move forward.
8. Be Prepared. A “Star Communicator” in Davies’ opinion is always prepared. This includes reviewing client goals, researching pertinent information, prepping staff for what they need to know, and preparing for rebuttals.
9. Training And Personal Growth. Offsite retreats with staff several times a year allows staff “practice time” without the stresses of the work environment. Leadership, teamwork, communication, and project management are some of the skills that are fostered.
10. Quality In All. Davies mentors his staff to ensure that all products are of the highest quality. His expectation for his people is that they are accountable, proactive, and responsible for delivering superb work to clients.
11. Finding The “Needle In The Haystack.” The “Needle In the Haystack” is a means to be successful by uncovering what is often overlooked. Davies uses such practices as change strategies, psychology, crisis communication, and influence and persuasion theories.
Leaders need the ability to be highly effective communicators to get their point across and drive team behavior. Coupled with that, leaders need to know how to be empathetic.