Ingredients of a Good Leader: Communication

Communication is a two way street. Most people think of how we communicate – deliver a presentation, talk to person, send an email or text – and not how we receive information. How we receive information may be more important than how we deliver information because it will help us understand our audience better. As a result, we can design our message to fit the audience, resulting in more effective communication.

I am in the process of publishing a leadership book called REBOUND: From Pain to Passion. It will be released in March. Here are some excerpts from the book regarding communication.

“Listening is a talent.” – Matt Doherty

Aggressively listen. Listening is a skill that needs constant attention because it can easily deteriorate. Create an environment removed from distractions. Have a sitting area away from your desk where there are no barriers between you and the person you are visiting with. Open space leads to open conversation. Make sure you hide your cell phone, close your computer, and don’t look at your watch.

Mirror the other person’s body language. This breaks down any “walls” that may exist. Repeat statements. This shows the other person that you are actively listening and it forces you to stay in the moment, keeping your mind locked in. Take notes. This lets the other person know that their comments really matter.

Manage your emotions. “Coaching scars” is what Davidson Head Coach Bob McKillop calls them, and all leaders have them. Moments when they react to fast and say something that cuts to the core. These comments will have long-lasting implications that leaders will wish they could get back. Learn to react slowly.


• “Effective communication values the recipient over the sender.” — Neil Gordon

• “Great generals do not give commands that can be understood. They give commands that cannot be misunderstood.” — General Douglas MacArthur

Learn & Grow!

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