Their team admires them and follows their lead. Likewise, if we want society to get to the level of achievement, leaders must master the art of clear communication.
Communication is the force of many things we do in our lives. Apart from speaking expressions, we can still use non-verbal communication messages and communication platforms such as computers, cell phones, e-mail, text messaging, websites, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. The bottom line is that clear communication is the most important key to flourishing leadership in the organization and society. Therefore, to grow as a leader, there is a need to learn how to be an effective and compelling communicator. And if we desire our organization and society to succeed, the leader and his/her team have to master the art of communication, as well. By using these and other strategies, the leader and his/her team can reach new levels of leadership excellence.
Who is a good communicator?
No matter where we are in life, communication skills can be very useful in the various situations before us. The benefits it brings in helping us handle tough situations are priceless. Leaders that communicate well make leadership more effective and reasonable. Good communication is one of the most important characteristics of leadership. A leader is able to communicate well not only with the people he/she is leading but with external parties as well. Good leaders tell the absolute truth as it is, without sugar-coating or fearing hurting other people’s feelings. A good leader knows what to teach or preach to get the best out of his/her followers. Rebuke when necessary, give credit where it is due, encourage when encouragement is needed, and always listen to what the followers have to say. Without effective communication, a leader is not an effective leader.
Things to note in effective communication
We all know that communication is the key to good leadership. What is not so clear is how to communicate well. There are some pieces of actionable advice for leaders who want to succeed by communicating well. In fact, the secret to being a good communicator is often not the stimulating speech from the pulpit but things that are more ordinary. Leaders have to be good listeners, inviting feedback, valuing it, and opening up avenues for communication to flow in both directions. Communication should be regular if it is to be effective. The old cliché, ‘simplicity plus recognition’ still holds true today concerning good communication. Learning effective communication helps leaders to communicate more, and as they become better communicators, their efficiency in handling whatever messages are being communicated improves.
Leadership minus good communication
Lack of communication may result in failure of the society to move forward the way it is supposed to. Good communication can help an organization move successfully and increase numerically and financially. It is certain that a society that is not well-informed experiences deformation. It would be difficult to accomplish her given mission. It is only clear, concise communication between leadership and followership that can result in achievements. Leaders must have the ability to communicate in order to express their points, lead society and bring people together. The more effectively you communicate the message the more you will be understood. Not communicating the message effectively can result in a breakdown of communication and possibly misinterpretation of your intentions. When communication flows openly, followers feel empowered to express their thoughts and ideas with leadership. This opens doors for successful accomplishments of the organization and breaks down barriers that develop when communication is damaged. A leader’s ability to convey the message, listen to those he or she represents, and move the organization forward by engaging another stem from the ability to be a good communicator.
Non-verbal communication techniques are sometimes employed by communicators consciously and, at times, unconsciously. Non-verbal communication is an example of routine and non-routine communication.
In this instance, each person involved in the communication process is a facilitator of non-verbal communication. Also, several forms of diagrams, pictures, graphs, and slides facilitate the effective transmission of non-verbal communication in day-to-day interactions.
Areas of Non-verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is classified as:
- Body language (Kinetics): This involves the movement of the body and may be divided into the following areas:
- Facial expression: facial expression conveys meaning. Facial expressions such as smiles frowns, and narrowed eyes may be intended to transmit friendliness, anger, or disbelief respectively.
- Gestures: This involves pointing fingers, and shaking of the head to transmit and emphasize focus or disagreement.
- Movements: Quick pacing up and down, finger drumming, and leisurely strolling may all transmit impatience, boredom, or relaxation and are all non-verbal communication techniques that may be used to send messages.
- Proxemics: This involves physical contact such as shaking hands, prodding with the forefinger, and clapping to transmit greetings, insistence, or friendship.
- This also involves how people use space and distance around them in communicating. A student who enters a lecture theatre and decides to sit in the back now instead of the front may be indicating his reluctance to be involved.
- Positioning: keeping a respectful distance, looking over one’s shoulder, and sitting close to someone are all forms of using non-verbal cues to communicate. They transmit the awareness of differing status, a close working relationship [ or relaxed mutual trust respectively.
- Posture: Standing straight and erect, lounging, sitting hunched up, leaning forward, and spreading oneself in a chair are all means of communicating non-verbally. These convey alertness and care, self-confidence, nervousness, or case respectively.
- Paralinguistic: Feedback sounds of surprise or agreement or annoyance or impatience, for example, ‘uh-uh ooop!.
Features of Non-Verbal Communication
The following summarizes the important characteristics of non-verbal communication.
- Non-verbal communication can be international. The sender may be unaware that he or she is sending a non-verbal message and consequently may be aware of the impact that it may have.
- Non-verbal messages may be more honest than verbal ones. Therefore, a non-verbal message can be more reliable than an oral or written one.
- Non-verbal communication is always present. Neither oral nor written communication exists without non-verbal communication. Examples of non-verbal messages being sent even when the communication may not be face-to-face include: tapping the phone receiver, loudly rearranging papers, or keeping quiet.
- Non-verbal communication reinforces oral communication by providing non-verbal cues to emphasize what is being said orally.
- Non-verbal communication provides additional visual stimulus.
Advantages of Non-Verbal Communication
- Non-verbal communication can help the communicator to overcome the language barrier.
- Non-verbal communication makes a possible for information to be conveyed to many audiences.
- Non-verbal communication may be more reliable, at times, than verbal or oral communication because it is mostly transmitted unconsciously.
- \Non-verbal communication is always present because this form of communication is always associated with oral or written communication.
Disadvantages of Non-Verbal Communication
- Non-verbal communication can, at times, be difficult to interpret without reinforcing it with written or spoken words.
It includes letters, memoranda, fax transmission, electronic mail, and organizational periodicals.
Since letters and memoranda are discussed elsewhere in this pack, fax, e-mail, and periodicals are discussed here.
- Fax transmission is an electronic means of sending an exact copy of a document by scanning it. In this case, bonding is established between the sending and receiving machines.
The sending machines first scan the document, convert it into data, and thereafter, both machines start printing it out simultaneously at their respective locations. In recent times, this mode of transmission, which was initially done via telephone lines, has now been incorporated into computer systems.
- Electronic email (e-mail) is the transmission of written messages via messages.
- Organization journal//periodical: An organizational journal is an internal magazine or newspaper printed by the organization to inform employees about various workplace issues.
Advantages of Written Communication
The following are the advantages of written communication among others.
- Communication provides written records and evidence of receipt
- It is capable of transmitting complex ideas.
- It provides analysis, evaluation, and summary.
- It disseminates information to dispersed receivers.
- It serves as the basis of a contract or agreement.
Disadvantages of Written Communication
The disadvantages of written communication include
- Communication can be expensive and take time to produce.
- It tends to be formal and distant.
- There is a tendency for misinterpretation to take place
- There is no instant feedback.
- It does not allow for the exchange of opinions, or viewer’s attitudes except over a period of time.
Facilitators of Written Communication
Almost every organization, business, or non-business person facilitates the successful operation of all forms of written communication.