Leaders must be Communicators
Leaders simply must be able to communicate with others. Perhaps no one
thing is more important for leaders to do than to communicate
effectively. If you can’t communicate, don’t try to lead.
Five areas are important.
Over half of a leader’s time communicating is spent listening. There’s
is a reason: leaders must know what’s happening and they must understand
others; that is, leaders must listen to be informed and listen to
understand other people. Leaders must be listeners.
While not all successful leaders are accomplished public speakers, most
of them can express ideas effectively both in front of an audience and
in a small group. Increased ability to speak in front of a group
increases leader effectiveness. Speaking ability is a strong
correlate of leadership ability.
Others gain much meaning by watching a leader’s actions and by listening
to how he or she says things. The old saying, “What you are
speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say,” carries strong meaning. Our
actions really do speak louder to most people than our words do.
Nonverbal behavior often carries more meaning than verbal behavior.
Leaders must continue to learn. Yes, leaders learn by watching and
doing, but they also learn by reading. Most effective leaders spend time
reading, because they know leaders must be informed. Leaders must
Fifty years I did not
write well, but I realized its importance; so, I sought help. I asked
skilled writers to proofread and correct my mistakes—and I listened
carefully as they explained the corrections they made. Writing
effectively helped me think more clearly and in turn, helped me be a
better leader. Clear writing reflects clear thinking.
speaking, nonverbal behavior, reading and writing are all critical for
effective leadership. It all comes down to this: If you can’t
communicate, don’t try to lead.