I was recently asked about leadership communications. After quite a discussion I decided there are three primary considerations for a leader when communicating with others; public or private. First – the leader takes responsibility for communication. That means the leader makes sure that communication happens. There is no room for assumptions and it is the leader’s responsibility to make sure he/she understands and is understood. The leader takes responsibility so that later on there is no room for question, and if there is room and misunderstanding has happened, then the leader takes responsibility for that as well.
Second, the leader is honest in all communication. This isn’t easy, but it is expedient. The leader must be open and transparent in all communication. Better to get problems out in the open than to have them surface later and be questioned on why the truth wasn’t told from the beginning. I also learned at an early age that if, after telling the truth you have to explain it, then your intention was to mislead. Be honest and tell the truth. And never tell the truth with the intention of using it to mislead, and never tell only part of the truth for safety sake, but the whole truth.
Always be encouraging. Use words to encourage and uplift others. Give other a sense of empowerment and ability. Use constructive communication especially if the truth is threatening or damaging. Learn to put all communication in a way that not only encourages the recipient, but gives them a model to look up to and emulate.
To be effective in communication means taking responsibility, being honest and using encouragement.
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