Why Effective Leadership Starts With Good Communication

No man is an island! This is why good communication is vital in leadership.

Business is done through interaction between people. To interact with other people, you must communicate with them in one way or another. 

Read on to learn how good communication makes business happen.


It would be hard to overstate the importance of effective communication in good leadership.

Why Is Good Communication Important in Leadership?

As a business leader, you communicate with many people. Depending on your exact role, you may interact with some of all of these, or others:

  • Customers.
  • Clients.
  • Team members.
  • Suppiers.
  • Upper management.
  • Service providers (internal or external),

To keep the business humming, the quality of your communication with these people is vital. You must receive and send information accurately. 

To do that you must listen intently. If a message you receive is unclear, request clarification. The messages you send should be unambiguous and easy to understand. 

During these interchanges, you should be building camaraderie with all of the people you interact with.

Your collaboration with all of these people is critical to the success of your business. Good communication is fundamental for your leadership to produce good results.

Facts About Communication for Leaders 

Effective communication is precise – unambiguous. The leader and every participant in the exchange must communicate accurately,

When you receive a message, look for ways you can interpret it. If it’s possible to interpret it in more than one way, discuss it with the sender so you are certain you both understand it the same way.

When you compose or speak a message, consider whether the receiver could interpret it in other ways than what you intend. If necessary, rephrase it to make the meaning impossible to misinterpret. When you speak a message face to face be sure the receiver receives the same message you intend to send.

The Importance of Leadership Communication

As a leader and a good communicator, most of your interaction is likely to be with your team members. All of what I’ve outlined applies here.

Good communication in your team leadership seeks to build camaraderie within your team. When you must criticize them, do it in a way that helps them improve. Strive to never make them feel unappreciated.

Tips to Improve Your Leadership Communication

With team members, good leadership communication should seek to build team spirit. You want to help each member feel like part of something grander than themselves. 

Listen with the intent to understand what you’re hearing, rather than to plan a reply.

Speak with the intent to help others understand clearly what you intend to communicate.

Strive to build team spirit and camaraderie with all your communication.

The Cost of Poor Leadership Communication

Considering what we’ve already discussed, the negative results of poor communication should be clear. As clear as are the positive results of good leadership communication.

The greatest cost of poor communication comes from its receiver understanding something different than the sender intended. This may come from inattentive listening or from ambiguous communication by the sender. Poor decision-making and misdirected efforts can result. Both are wastes of time and other resources. Left uncorrected, they can result in failure to meet deadlines and in poor quality production.

If a team member sends you a message that you misinterpret, that could lead you to make an incorrect decision.

If a team member misinterprets a message from you, they might spend hours or days working for a different result than you intended.

Allowing team members to function in isolation, or to feel like they’re functioning in isolation, results in poor teamwork. A good team produces results equal to much more than the sum of the individual members’ efforts if they worked alone. That multiplication can be lost if the team members are, or feel, isolated.

Keep everyone pulling in the same direction like a team of horses pulling a heavy wagon. When they work together, they can pull a tremendous load. If they work independently, they’re much less effective.

Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern. 

A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!

Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day. (For a short time, he switched to doing the call weekly, and it seems nobody liked it.)  The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You'll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or on a recording. 

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