Why Communication Is Important For Leaders: Guide From A Therapist

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We all have that specific person who comes to mind whenever we think about great leaders. Whether it is a political figure, someone from your personal life, or a colleague, and regardless of who they are or where they stand in life, they all exhibit specific traits that set them apart from each other. It’s one thing to lead, but yet another to be a leader who knows how to communicate well. Here are some things to remember about being a leader who knows how to communicate effectively according to every therapist.

Get Personal

Some leaders don’t believe in getting personal with their colleagues. They tend to act highly and build a wall between them and their team members to maintain a specific power or impression that leaders are too high of a person. For you to be an effective communicator, you must stop issuing corporate communications. Stop sounding too bossy. Begin to have an organizational conversation because the more personal and engaging the conversation is, the more effective it will be for your subordinates.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This quote has been with many great leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt, John Maxwell, and many more. It is true that people, especially in workplaces, don’t care about how much you know or you much you have achieved. They are more conscious of how you genuinely care. “You have to get really clear with yourself first about what’s motivating you when you agree to do someone else a favor.” A reminder from Erika Martinez, PsyD

Getting personal with people does not necessarily mean you have to build friendship instantly, especially in the workplace. It is just one way of showing to your subordinates you care about what they feel, and your intentions are real. If leaders fail to develop meaningful relationships with their people, they will never know what is truly in their mind, which may lead to complications within their team.

Authenticity Counts

Authenticity is very hard to determine, but we immediately know it when we see and hear it. We can usually tell instantly when a person is authentic or not. According to some research, leaders who have genuine intentions tend to be more emphatic, trusted, and believable.

Empathic communicators display a level of authenticity and transparency, which is not present with leaders who choose to communicate using a well-crafted façade to appear tough. Being authentic is what helps turn anger to admiration, and hesitation to trust. You may seem to show a tough exterior, and you can be the strict type of boss, but if you are an authentic leader who knows how to get real with people, then there is not much of a problem.

According to Susan Tardanico, founder and CEO of the Authentic Leadership Alliance, “People want real. People respect real. “People follow real.”


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“Nothing ruins self-esteem like surrounding yourself with people who abuse or neglect you,” says therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. To listen is something that seems like an easy thing to do. It is not. Communication is a two-way street, listening, and talking. It sounds pretty basic, but people forget we should need to be a good listener before we can communicate well. How are you able to say the things your audience wants or needs to hear if you don’t know how to listen?

A leader who knows how to listen well holds a precious gift. Imagine a subordinate talking to his or her leader about burnout. It is a concern every leader needs to address and be aware of because they don’t want any of their team members to feel tired and lost. What if during the conversation, the particular team member took notice his or her leader is not listening? They will lose confidence in whatever they are trying to say.

People only reveal juicy bits whenever they are in their comfort zone. So if you are the kind of leader who wants to know what goes down in their team, know how to listen well.

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Remember, anyone can take charge, but not everyone can listen genuinely. When communicating with others, most of the time, we focus on what we should say. However, effective communication is more about listening. Listening very carefully does not only mean we should understand the words or the information shared to us. Listening is also following the emotions the speaker is trying to convey.

“Bring the right people into your life.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D said. Effective leaders must motivate a team, and this would not be possible without a proper way of communication. They should communicate genuinely with good intentions, and their objectives must be clearly defined. They should also know when to stop and listen to their subordinate’s concerns.

A successful leader may have a natural talent, but he or she has to be able to convey all of this through positive and effective communication. Great leaders must be great communicators.

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