“Leadership is difficult to envision without communication. In short, any goal or common purpose needs to be verbalized, become known, be understood, and be accepted before anyone can act to accomplish it.” — Catrin Johansson
When someone is leading a business unit or a team, they are using communication to guide, direct and show others the way.
However, when someone is communicating in a business setting, they only have the opportunity to lead. Leadership is dependent on communication. So dependent in fact, that if a communicator poorly expresses an idea, they forfeit their opportunity to lead others.
Today, communication is difficult. As our species has evolved out of the desert, so have the problems we face, making it difficult to express ideas in a simple language that everyone understands.
Leaders who hold authoritative positions in business have more opportunities to communicate and lead. If that leader lacks communication prowess, then they will be petered out of the current position they hold.
For managers and individual contributors however, their communication is even more critical. Rarely are they in positions of authority or in positions where their communication can have impact to transform or change behavior in the business.
Leadership communication is about making those opportunities count and ensuring you do not miss an opportunity to lead when you have the opportunity to influence others.
Why is Leadership Communication So Important?
Leadership Communication is critical for a manager in a new role and just as important for his or her team. Leadership communication is the conduit that creates action, clarifies the team’s mission and gives clear, simple directions on key projects.
Leadership communication persuades team members and cross functional teams to adopt specific recommendations. It builds relationships and helps a leader stay calm and cool under pressure.
Let your emotions, the way you communicate, how you listen and the skills you use to persuade others transform your leadership style.
The 4 Skills You Need for Leadership Communication
Effective leaders need effective communication, listening, persuasion, and emotional intelligence skills. These are four directions on a compass that helps you lead your team or self to greatness.
Each direction represents a critical component to leading others and helping guide the people who depend on you. Mastering these four skills gives you true poise and true executive presence.
As a leader, you command and set a path that your team can follow. Without the right leadership characteristics, it will be difficult to get your team to follow you. It will also be difficult to guide them, to see danger, and set the right direction.
But most importantly, without these skills, it will be almost impossible to stay focused on your objective and get others to change their behavior. These four skills build off of each other. Without one, the rest suffer.
Usually, our emotions drive our actions. The emotions are gasoline, our brain is the engine and our actions are the vehicles. If your emotions are left unchecked, then you will run out of gas, or you will begin making irrational decisions that could jeopardize your career, your job, and your employees’ work. Emotional intelligence is made up of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationships.
To get there, we use mindfulness coupled with spiritual principles.
When we feel fear or resentment, these things can block us from focusing on the work and performing. Even though anxiety is a natural human trait, when it becomes overwhelming, it is difficult to act in the best way that will get you results.
A Leadership Communication Coach should help you tackle your EQ qualities.
Although listening falls under communication, it is such a critical leadership trait that it has its own category.
Learning to listen makes you more influential. It builds relationships and people like you more. Part of the art of leadership is listening to the people you serve, hearing your employees, and understanding the direction your employees want to go. Listening makes up part of the road of empathy, which is critical for any communication or recommendation or idea to be accepted by others.
Learning to truly listen and ask questions that cut through the clutter is a critical skill to learn.
If you cannot present an idea in a way that changes people’s behavior, it’s going to be difficult to be a change agent or leader in your organization. Effective communication is the foundation of any plan to create change in someone or an organization. It has several tools at its disposal:
Just focusing on the basics of communication can influence someone more than anything else, especially inside an organization. When you can explain your idea or recommendation clearly, it builds trust, reduces skepticism, and helps your listener visualize what needs to change.
The way you frame your message — whether you tell a story or use a metaphor — can only happen after you know precisely what kind of behavior you are trying to change and what you want your communication to do.
Clear communication can determine how much your message will influence others.
All managers in leadership positions are naturally in a position of power and persuasion. However, not all managers positively persuade those around them.
Without understanding social cues and the traits that people look for to make a sound decision, your ability to create change will suffer. There are scientifically proven principles of influence that you can follow that help you be more influential.
They have been guiding social interactions since the formation of society, and they are still just as prevalent in the business environment today.