10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

An article posted on Forbes.com on Wednesday, April 4.
This is a great article which discusses ten (plus one) communication principles to make every leader a great communicator.  I highly recommend that you follow the link to read the entire article.

10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

By Mike Myatt – 04/04/2012 

It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator. I hope you noticed the previous sentence didn’t refer to being a great talker – big difference. The key to becoming a skillful communicator is rarely found in what has been taught in the world of academia. From our earliest days in the classroom we are trained to focus on annunciation, vocabulary, presence, delivery, grammar, syntax and the like. In other words, we are taught to focus on ourselves. While I don’t mean to belittle these things as they’re important to learn, it’s the more subtle elements of communication rarely taught in the classroom (the elements that focus on others), which leaders desperately need to learn. It is the ability to develop a keen external awareness that separates the truly great communicators from those who muddle through their interactions with others. In today’s column I’ll share a few of the communication traits, which if used consistently, will help you achieve better communication results.

I don’t believe it comes as any great surprise that most leaders spend the overwhelming majority of their time each day in some type of an interpersonal situation. I also don’t believe it comes as a great shock to find a large number of organizational problems occur as a result of poor communications. It is precisely this paradox that underscores the need for leaders to focus on becoming great communicators. Effective communication is an essential component of professional success whether it is at the interpersonal, intergroup, intragroup, organizational, or external level. While developing an understanding of great communication skills is easier than one might think, being able to appropriately draw upon said skills when the chips are down is not always as easy as one might hope for.

Continue reading “10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders” via Forbes.com

Here are the top 10 (with a bonus), without the defined summaries from the article associated with each one…Number 7 is a big one:

  1. Speak not with a forked tongue
  2. Get personal
  3. Get specific
  4. Focus on the leave-behinds not the take-aways
  5. Have an open mind
  6. Shut-up and listen
  7. Replace ego with empathy
  8. Read between the lines
  9. When you speak, know what you’re talking about
  10. Speak to groups as individuals
  11. Bonus – Be prepared to change the message if needed


3 Responses to “10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders”

  1. Super article, Thanks.

    It made me think that one biographer said that one of Grant’s secrets of leadership was his clarity of language, especially on the telegraph. One of the ways he documented this was the clarity of Grant’s autobiography, especially the latter part when he was quite literally dying in agony of throat cancer.

    The other thing about it is his control of Sheridan and Sherman who he knew well while keeping his headquarters within earshot of Meade’s whom I think he did not know as well. I would take that as knowing the audience.


  2. Don’t these sound like common sense, yet they are what makes a great communicator. Thanks for the reminder.


    • Jacqui, I think that everything we discuss on the blogosphere related to leadership competencies and principles should be common sense. But, unfortunately, we have many in the ranks who are ‘leaders’ without leadership, if you know what I mean. In some cases, it’s preaching to the choir. For others, its sermonizing to those in the need to know. Thanks for your comment and your loyal readership.



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