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The Importance of Leadership Communication

Communication is the language of success. Leaders not only have to learn the art of communication; they have to differentiate the communication style of every person they lead. Even though communication is extremely important component of success in an organization, it can also be quite simple if done the right way. So, how important is communication to the effectiveness of a leader? These three principles are interwoven and all three should answer the question pertaining to the importance of communication:

  1. Communication is about shared interest.

It is extremely difficult for people to trust a leader that they can identify with on some level. Communication is based on the transfer of symbols that the organization has used to cultivate a shared interest (Hackman & Johnson, 2013). Whether a follower can identify with the amount of children their leader has or the type of dog the leader prefers, there must be some sort of shared interest to drive the communication of the organization. In short, shared interest directly effects a leader’s effectiveness because it becomes shared interest is the unofficial language of the organization. Also, it holds leaders and followers accountable to each other because there is no barrier there to prohibit clear and concise understanding.

2. Communication is personal.

As it relates to communication, leaders have to think dialogue – not monologue. When a leader enjoys have a public conversation with themselves without soliciting the input of others, it diminishes his or her effectiveness. Communication is a two-way street, both parties should have the opportunity to speak and listen – just not at the same time. If the leader does not develop meaningful relationships with people, the leader will never know what really lies in heart of the follower until it’s too late to do anything about it.

3. Communication is clear and concise.

If a leader runs a company full of English speaking employees, the leader should not facilitate a board meeting in Spanish. It’s understandable why a leader would want his or her followers to know that he or she is bilingual, the ability to speak more than one language is quite commendable! However, if everyone does not speak the same language, who benefits from the situation? Tomlinson (2015) noted that clear verbal communications in organizations are central to leadership. In response, without clear and concise communication from the leader to the follower, there is no possibility for sustained success or effectiveness. In summary, clear communication eliminates barriers between the leader and the follower, which consequently opens up dialogue based on a share interest, see how it all fits together?

Bottom line – communication has to be effective or it becomes mindless babble. Leaders cannot afford to risk their vision being miscommunicated – the success of the organization depends on it.

Hackman, M. Z., & Johnson, C. E. (2013). Leadership: a communication perspective. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2015). Communication That Powers Leadership. Educational Leadership, 72(7), 90-91.

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