Great leaders are great communicators. Communication certainly includes making a great speech, or for pastors, delivering a compelling sermon. That kind of communication is important, but it’s less so than communicating well one-on-one. I recently finished reading neuroscientist Andrew Newberg’s book, Words Can Change your Brain. His book suggests 12 key neuroscience based communication practices. I’ve included nine here with some brief comments.
9 Secrets Great Communicators
1. Great Communicators convey a relaxed demeanor.
They’re not tense or frazzled. People pick up on our emotional tone, whether it’s good or bad. It’s called emotional contagion. So when we’re relaxed, it encourages the other person to relax as well.
2. They stay fully present for the person they’re talking to.
They’re not in a rush to move on to something or someone else. They don’t look over the other person’s shoulder. Rather, they make genuine eye contact. Eye contact stimulates the social networks of our brains, decreases the stress hormone cortisol, and increases the neurotransmitter oxytocin which has been called the trust chemical, all of which enhance communication.
3. They practice inner stillness and quietness.
This reflects the Psalmists words in Psalms 46.10. Be still and know that I am God.
4. They pay attention to non-verbal cues in the face and body of the person with whom they’re talking.
Our words seldom fully convey what we really think and feel. However, our eyes, face, and tone communicate much of what we do think and feel. If we don’t pay attention to the non-verbal, communication will suffer.