Communication is the last mile of leadership through which influence is exercised. A leader must not only speak clearly, but to move people, he has to address their stated and unspoken needs, motivating them to act positively for the greater good. A great communicator chooses the right words, tone, and settings; his mastery of these details allows him to achieve more outcomes at less effort. While some people may be more articulate than others, the insight and judgment required for consistently effective communication requires conscious and diligent practice. There are no short cuts.
President Abraham Lincoln is still lauded as one of the greatest communicator even 150 years after his death. His speeches for antislavery Peoria 1854 and Cooper Union 1860 are so simple yet so motivating. He is a true man of words, a true leader of ideas.
"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said."
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
Understanding Management Communication
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
- How effective has my communication been in driving to the desired outcome? How do I know?
- How well do I understand the relevant context before deciding on the influence objective and strategy?
- How well am I able to manage my emotions when considering or conducting difficult conversation?