How the Best Leaders Communicate

best leaders communicate

The leaders you admire most have a few things in common. Maybe they have superior listening skills. Perhaps they’re empathetic or emotionally intelligent. One thing’s for sure: All great leaders are exceptional communicators.

The best leaders communicate how they will take responsibility. They communicate with integrity, they communicate their boundaries and they communicate to inspire, delegate, empower and innovate.

But communication is a skill that often needs work before a leader can make a difference. If you’re gathering the courage to stand up as a conscious leader, read on. If you’re finding your purpose and you’re interested in creating win/win situations, then stick with me. We’re going to delve into how you can develop the level of communication that will translate into effective leadership skills.

The Best Leaders Communicate with Courage and Responsibility

Not everyone will muster the courage to take on a leadership role. But, if you have the desire to lead a family, a business, a team, an organization, a student…or even just yourself…then you can learn how to make a difference.

The most basic requirements are these:

  • Showing Up: Sometimes, it takes courage just to be where you need to be. So get there, show up and be present. That’s where it all starts.
  • Taking Responsibility: In all forms of communication and leadership, you must be prepared to take responsibility for your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions. Your ability to respond versus react determines the quality of your life. You are responsible for your own communication. You are not responsible for others’ feelings or their communications.

Get your head wrapped around those two concepts, and you’ll be ready to learn how the best leaders communicate.

Tell Your Truth, with Compassion

No one has experienced the same things you have. And likewise, you cannot claim to have experienced the same things another person has. Our life circumstances color how we see the world. They affect our perceptions, and therefore our realities.

When you grasp this concept, it’s easy to see that every individual person has their own truth. What is true for you will not be true for everyone—including the people you will communicate with.

When you interact with others, and you need to express something that will open communication, start your statement with “For me the truth is…”

best leaders communicate

No one can deny your truth. They can disagree with you, but they cannot tell you that your truth is wrong.

Remember that great responsibility comes with this phrase. Deliver it with compassion for the person receiving it, in all situations.

Be Present and Listen

For effective communication to occur, you must be listening and fully present—not thinking about what you’re doing later or about what happened yesterday.

Focus on being interested, rather than on being interesting. Really listen to the words that are spoken and absorb them, instead of spending that time crafting your own responses. Avoid using rehearsed responses; reply with authentic, in-the-moment reactions. Never apply your own experiences to someone’s heartfelt expression, and don’t interrupt.

Pay attention to body language, to know how your words and actions are being received. Allow empathy and compassion to fill you, so that you can communicate in a way that you’ll be heard, in the moment.

Create Synergy

A leader with great communication skills knows that resolutions can be found without arguing or having to justify differing points of view. Allow others to have their own thoughts and beliefs, without having to apologize for them. Expect the same respect in return.

Know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can have a perspective. Someone else can have a different perspective. When the two come together, it can make something completely different, which is a third perspective. You don’t have to lose your individuality to create a new way of seeing.

Choose to be Happy Rather than Right

If you want to prove that you’re right at all costs, then you will never have effective communication.

Communication is not a contest. It’s not about keeping score, or winning. It’s about exchanging ideas and striving to see through another’s eyes.

Stick Through Discomfort

The best leaders communicate through uncomfortable topics. They don’t change the subject or avoid tough conversations. They don’t tell jokes or skim over the important parts.

Extraordinary leaders gain the respect of those they lead because they’re willing to walk into the fire…to talk about things that others will avoid. When you engage in the level of communication where uncomfortable subjects become bridges to new dimensions, that means you’ve taken responsibility and you will enjoy the rewarding relationships that result.

There is no subject too unpleasant when it’s approached with empathy and compassion.

Know it’s Okay to Disagree

Leaders don’t placate. They don’t pretend to agree with what’s being said just to end the meeting, or to save face.

Leaders take responsibility for themselves by standing up for what they believe. They disagree gracefully, with compassion, and they commit to work together amid differing views. The conversation can merge into a resolution where everyone agrees to support the decision, even if everyone disagrees with parts of the communication.

How the Best Leaders use Communication to Lead

No one has ever become a respected leader by locking themselves away and avoiding communication, or by continually and unintentionally sabotaging their own interactions. Likewise, the best communicators are, by default, great leaders.

The two skills go hand-in-hand, and effective communication is the essence of leadership…even if it’s just with one employee, or at one family dinner.

We all have strengths and weaknesses as communicators and leaders. But our true strength lies in our vulnerability, and having the courage to stand up and enrich those weak areas.

Being a conscious leader means being an outstanding communicator, but there’s more. It means being willing to examine your own leadership qualities, to take responsibility for those areas that might need improvement, and to have the courage to show up.

If you’d like to work on your communication skills and your leadership skills—all in the same weekend, from the comfort of your own home—you’re in luck!

The Essence of Communication virtual playshop will be happening on Saturday, October 3rd, beginning at 10 a.m. EDT. Then, on Sunday, October 4th, we will be hosting the Essence of Leadership virtual playshop at 10 a.m. EDT. Both are 5-hour workshops, and you will receive a discount if you register for both. Learn more on the Essence of Being Facebook page.

If you’d like to dive even deeper into how you can become a courageous, conscious leader who makes a difference in the world and creates win/win situations, then learn more about the Conscious Leadership Academy, the World’s Best Superleader Support System. The best leaders communicate with empathy, compassion and effectiveness…and so can you!