Most successful direct sales professionals and entrepreneurs are thought leaders. The reason? In order to be a thought leader, you must continually invest in yourself. When you invest in yourself, not only do you better your chances of becoming a thought leader, you also better your chances of experiencing success. Both are natural by-products of investing in yourself.
If you want to become more successful and grow into a thought leader, strive to develop these four important communication skills…
4 Communication Skills of Thought Leaders
1. Thought Leaders Listen Well.
Being a good thinker is more about listening than speaking. To quote Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Even though thought leaders are asked to share their ideas and opinions, they know the secret to developing insight comes mostly from what they hear and read. And don’t miss the word “well” in the “listen well” phrase. Thought leaders don’t just hear and read, they absorb and process what they hear and read.
2. Thought Leaders Ask Insightful Questions.
Asking insightful questions is a communication skill that goes hand-in-hand with listening well. Thought leaders are active listeners, which means they listen with curiosity. This leads them to ask inquisitive questions in order to stretch their thinking. They also ask open-ended questions in order to discover the why and how on any given subject.
3. Thought Leaders Speak Wisely.
Because thought leaders continually invest in themselves, they grow in wisdom, which makes what they have to say more insightful. Yet this is not the wisdom referred to here. Thought leaders are also wise about what comes out of their mouths and what is kept to themselves. They realize every word uttered in-person or online shapes their personal brand. Therefore, their conversations are optimistic and uplifting instead of tainted or petty.
4. Thought Leaders Craft Quotable Sayings.
One reason thought leaders become thought leaders is because of how they say things. They are masters at crafting memorable sayings around their most powerful convictions. Mary Kay Ash was a great example of this. For instance, every Mary Kay Consultant can repeat Mary Kay Ash’s quote: “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” Mary Kay Ash took a powerful principle of her company and crafted a quotable saying around it. The saying has been passed down generation after generation and has been woven into the fabric of the Mary Kay culture.
Question: Which of these communication skills has been most meaningful to you? What communication skills would you add to our thought-leaders list?