Working with different groups of people over recent weeks, it has been interesting to note the increasing participation in any discussion around ‘conversations’.

Whether those discussions were around peoples’ performance, difficult customer scenarios or asking a tough question, everyone was eager to understand models and methods to help them discover a dialogue which they could control and implement.

In a society which is gripped with digital advancement and powerful social media, our skill development is diminishing in relationship building and defusing conflict.  The way we communicate face-to-face, over the telephone and via our fingers (twitter, email etc.) requires thought, skill and a selection of behaviours.

Your role as leader can be simplified if you are positive & consistent when you communicate – YES, you are the role model and are the ‘lead’ role in this activity. So, here are some tips to prepare for your conversations:

Choose the mode of communication to match the message – human or digital or a blend - it's easy to type with emotion and be misunderstood whereas human interface is far more effective to keep on track with the purpose

Consider who you are communicating with – do they have a communication style preference - try and match it or use the opportunity to help them learn e.g. passive to assertive

Determine if the message should leave a legacy – use a hash-tag if you wish to keep it alive - keep it face-to-face if you want to keep it private 

Seek feedback from others to understand if your message works – test it, practise it, draft it - once it's out in the public, it's difficult to retrieve

Do Communicate beyond your normal style – your influence must be a blend to converse with the people you lead - multiple simultaneous conversations are now an expectation - each is as important as the other

This week I have introduced people to Twitter, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, Google Drive in the digital sphere of communication, coached face-to-face for several hours and spent a day on the telephone talking to people. I have my conversation preferences, however I challenge myself to learn what works for others.

How will you broaden your communication skills today to lead more effective conversations next week?