Communicating as a Leader

Posted December 2nd, 2010 in Leadership by admin

Have you ever wondered why you have been successful as a leader? If there was one competency that contributed to your leadership success – what would it be?

I’m wondering what your reaction would be if I said that one of the most effective leadership competencies is communication. Let’s take it a step further with the idea that the most effective part of communication is listening! I enjoy the thought that with the ratio of two ears to one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak.

I remember, as a manager, going into meetings with supervisors regarding resource allocations. It required a lot of restraint on my part to not participate actively in the conversation but to step back and really listen to what was being said. I was able to limit my conversation to asking questions and getting clarification. When I did provide my thoughts at the end, people felt they had been listened to and were much more supportive of a decision – even if it didn’t follow their recommendation.

A few quotes on this topic that ring true for me are:

  • the ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people – Woodrow Wilson
  • silence is a source of great strength – Lao Tzu

So, the next time, in your leadership role that you wish to say something, ask yourself – is this a time to listen or a time to speak?

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