Leaders are constantly being observed and watched. All they say and all they do is constantly being analysed and interpreted. Everything a leader says and every action a leader takes is amplified, assessed and examined. So how do leaders ensure they send the right messages? What can leaders do to improve the effectiveness of their communication?
Communication is critical for effective leadership. Without communication leaders are unable to share their vision, convince people to follow and to inspire the action that they want people to take. When it comes to leadership communication the motive and intention behind the message it as important as the message itself. Unless leaders are are to emotionally engage with their audience and are seen to be trusted people will be reluctant to follow or take action.
Conversation is an important part of leadership and change as:
- Vision must be shared, before it can be lived, this requires conversation.
- Change is underpinned by conversation. Organisations change, when people change and people change one conversation at a time.
- Employee engagement is driven by meaning and purpose, this requires conversation.
- Execution requires alignment of action. this requires conversation.
Given the importance of conversations to leadership, the following principles serve as a useful guides for leaders looking to shape conversation: