Monday, September 10, 2012

Communications for Leaders

By Virgil R. Carter

Successful leaders are those who can illuminate, persuade and encourage their colleagues and teams to be successful.  Successful leaders are good communicators!  It’s hard to find a long-term successful leader who simply sits in her/his office all day with the door closed.  Effective communications are essential for success!  Gretchen Rosswurm writes in SmartBlog on Leadership about some important communications habits for leaders.  Here are some of her tips:

·         Share an inspiring vision of the future:  A sense of shared purpose is important.  Leaders who do this paint a compelling picture of the future—where are we going, what does it look like, what are the benefits, what role do I play and how is it good for me?

·         Listen:  Real leadership requires listening and understanding what people think.  Leaders who do this ask questions and create opportunities for dialog.  Listening with patience and attention will win respect.

·         Commit to “no surprises”:  Leaders who are successful over the long haul are honest.  They demonstrate in word and deed that they are transparent about changes and vision.  Employees may not always like everything you have to say as a leader, but they will respect you and perform when you communicate openly, early and often. 

·         Widen the circle of involvement:  Strong leaders start with a small group and, bit by bit, widen the circle of people who are aware of and involved in the vision.  Leaders who continually engage and involve more people in the vision find that support and respect grows naturally.

·         Match your message with your audience:  Not everyone is motivated the same way.  A good leader uses a wide variety of approaches and messages which resonate with more people.  This shows respect for learning styles and diversity.  For example, consider communicating with visuals as well as data/text based materials, use of small groups, use of traditional media and newer social media.

Rosswurm points out that “in the end, there is no magic formula for great communications”, but suggests that leaders who communicate using these methods are “more effective than those who don’t”.  For the full article, go to

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