Skip to content

5 Principles of Effective Leadership Communication


female employees using cell phones for leadership communication Communication can make or break leaders. Ensure your leadership communication is effective by using these five principles of effective leadership communication.

What does it take to become a good leader? Should you micromanage? Rule with an iron fist? Or should you be pushover? Should you be everyone's friend?

Depending on the circumstance, any of these approaches could be valid. However, regardless the circumstance you need to be able to get your point across and motivate employees.

The good news is that there are underlying principles that can be learned to make leaders more effective. Here are five principles that have the power to transform your leadership communication.


Listening Completely

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen" -Ernest Hemmingway

I'm sure that all of us have encountered a time when we knew someone was not listening. The individual may have been busy texting, typing on the computer, or just completely zoning out. When you are trying to communicate an important message, this type of behavior can be very frustrating.

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. It demonstrates your open-mindedness and genuine concern. From recognition of day-to-day challenges to input on larger company issues, employees greatly appreciate being heard. In short, the most effective way to capture employee attention and loyalty is to pay it forward by giving employees your attention first.


Remembering to repeat, repeat, repeat

"Constant repetition carries conviction." -Robert Collier

When managers want to deliver important messages, it’s important to deliver the same message multiple times. Recent studies have shown that managers who ask their employees to perform a given task more than once are more successful in completing projects.


In "Effective Managers Say the Same Thing Twice (or More)", a team of researchers shadowed thirteen managers in six companies for over 250 hours. The team recorded every type of communication and how frequently different communication tools were used to deliver messages. The research found that one of every seven types of communications were repeated but delivered through different mediums. The conclusion was that managers who were more deliberately redundant completed projects faster and with fewer mishaps. -Harvard Business Review

Different medias that can be used to deliver the same message include:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • video messages
  • telephone conferences
  • emails
  • text and other documentation
  • other collaboration tools


Motivating Your Employees

"Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it." -Dwight Eisenhower

Another powerful skill in leadership communication is the ability to motivate your employees. One way to keep employees motivated is to encourage them to participate in the business. This participation does not mean they have joint ownership in the company but that they become more personally invested in the company. When employees feel personally invested they earn a greater respect for the skills and talents others can bring to the business. This sense of respect builds a greater partnership among coworkers and a contagious motivating effect throughout the entire company.

Communicating openly, building individual trust and including employees in the decision making process all contribute to employee engagement.


Taking Action by Inspiring Trust


The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.” - Stephen M. R. Covey

In addition to listening to your employees wants and needs a manager must remember to act upon the feedback they are given. By following through with the commitments you made to your employees, this will help gain trust and respect as a leader.

It's important to act not only regarding the work at hand, but also the promises you give out to employees. As a manager you must deliver. When employees trust their leaders they produce high quality work. Managers must build a reputation not only as hard workers but as a fair leaders.


Encouraging by "Feeding Forward"

"Be kind whenever possible. It's always possible." -Dalai Lama

It's a very uncomfortable situation as a leader to tell someone that you are not satisfied with the work they have provided you. Giving your employees negative feedback sometimes can come across as casting judgment.

Rather than telling your employees everything you dislike about their performance "feed forward" by offering different suggestions. Offering future suggestions is a more polite way of telling an employee that you are looking for more out of their work. Suggestions can be very detailed but still delivered in a positive way.

Positive "feed forward" eliminates feelings of judgment, and the process becomes a much more positive experience for both the sender and the receiver.



Today's blog post written by Melissa Caraballo





Photo attribution: opensourceway


Leave a Comment