6 Ways Leaders Communicate Effectively

July 24, 2018

Effective communication takes more than writing and speaking skills.

Communication takes more than contact and eye-contact. It is a self-affirming and self-rewarding skill. It is a behavior often manifested in the best and most effective organization leaders.

According to a McGill University study in the International Journal of Management and Business Studies (IJMBS), “Great leaders are always considered as first-class communicators, they have a clear set of values and they always believe in promoting and inculcating those values in others. It is due to this reason that their teams appreciate them and follow them as a leader.”

Some leaders have the talent and power to encounter, engage, and collaborate. For some, the talent comes naturally. For others, the power is acquired and practiced.

Strength in communication characterizes the most successful leaders.

Here are six ways leaders can communicate effectively:

1. Be Self Aware

Leaders manage their moods and temperament intently. They may even postpone a meeting if their head is not in the best place at the moment.

Otherwise, they risk causing confusion and misunderstanding. So quality communication begins with a sense of balance.

2. Target the Purpose

Whether using formal speeches, online communication, management meetings, or casual conversation, leaders communicate with a purpose in mind.

Leaders would have a plan to inform, describe, convince, or call to action. Each of these purposes take a different shape.

3. Name the Audience

Effective communication reaches its audience. If it does not connect, it has failed. And for that to work, leaders must adjust their communication vocabulary, style, and mode.

It’s not condescending to find common ground with workers. It hows respect for their needs and values their contribution.

Making that personal connection builds understanding and trust. And it takes an understanding of communication technology.

4. Master Silence

Silence has a power of its own. In Psychology Today, Alex Lickerman, M.D. advises, “The effective use of silence can bestow many gifts.”

Among other things, it affords leaders the chance to listen intently and actively.

When leaders are silent, others fill in and reveal their hearts and minds. The silence is understood as welcoming and respectful.

5. Build Teams

Encouraging employee engagement through team-building activities and small-group discussions definitely seems to improve communication transparency and strengthens the overall employer-employee relationship.

Building teams requires leaders to model behavior and prioritize the communication necessary to collaboration.

Where teams once followed orders, contemporary leaders draw out the best in team members.

6. Clarify, Clarify, Clarify

Leaders have a firm grasp of and belief in the organization’s core values.

Direct, firm, and clear communication shows respect, even when the communication carries bad news. because it is delivered with integrity and consistency.

Leadership creates and strengthens bonds. It models preferred and productive behaviors and it respects the work and contributions of others.


Those who follow and interact with leaders do so in response to and collaboration with the leader’s communication strengths.

Communication engages and motivates. It rewards and respects, and it serves peers, employees, and customers.

How Can Leaders Communicate Effectively?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Louis Carter on FacebookLouis Carter on Twitter
Louis Carter
Louis Carter
Louis Carter, MA is the author of over 10 books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion's Field Guide and Best Practices in Talent Management. He is one of the top advisers to C-level executives, helping them and their organizations achieve measurable results.
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Learn How Top Leaders Get Results... With Methods Proven Effective By Over 10,000 Leaders!