The Role of Communications in Leadership

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Leadership communication consists of the various messages that a leader conveys to a team or the employees of a company. These messages are grounded in the character of the leader and are based on company values and culture. These communications are significant to the key people in the company, occur regularly, and are intended to build trust.

Leadership communications have specific roles:

  • inform people of where the organization is going and what it stands for
  • encourage people to stand behind an initiative
  • affirm a product or service’s link to a company mission
  • create a motivational atmosphere
  • underline the company’s strengths
  • drive initiatives

Communicating to Achieve Objectives

A leader can successfully deliver a message that guides, directs, motivates, or inspires others by using a broad selection of communication techniques.

Leadership communication – when properly used – can build greater levels of trust and drive results throughout an organization.

To do this, leaders must connect and resonate with their audience when they’re communicating their messages.

The effectiveness of leadership communications must be judged in terms of how well they support the leadership process. That process comprises five key leadership objectives:

  • create shared vision – To fulfill the vision objective, leaders need to create a shared vision for the organization and articulate that vision as a compelling message. This can be achieved by visualizing and verbalizing the message.
  • design a plan to fulfill that vision – A leader completes the plan objective by explaining the steps an organization needs to take to fulfill the vision.
  • delegate – Leaders achieve the delegate objective by defining individual roles and a team’s overall responsibilities.
  • coach – To fulfill the coach objective, a leader provides guidance by advising, counseling, and listening to team members.
  • motivate – The motivate objective is achieved by appreciating and recognizing the contribution of others.

To effectively deliver a message, leaders need to meet five leadership objectives. First, they need to create a shared vision and can do so by holding off-site discussions, creating vision maps, and telling visions stories. Second, they need to plan by explaining the steps necessary to fulfill the vision.

Third, leaders are required to delegate by briefing people on what needs to be done, inviting participation, conferring responsibility, and granting authority. The fourth objective is coaching and involves making expectations clear, providing feedback, creating a work development plan, considering career plans, and teaching coaching behavior. The final objective is to motivate. Leaders can accomplish this by devoting time to high potentials, adopting a recognition mindset, and developing awards.

Leadership communication styles

  • Active influencing – A senior architect communicates by providing close supervision and issuing instructions
  • Active listening, active influencing – A CEO of a beverage company communicate by listening to employees and telling them the solution to their problems
  • Limited listening, limited influencing – A manager of a mechanical engineering company communicates with the team on an infrequent basis
  • Active listening – A safety supervisor with a chemical treatment plant pays careful attention to problems team members raise

 

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