7 Specific Behaviors to Improve Your Communication and Leadership Effectiveness

Business, political and religious leaders around the world aren’t getting much love these days.A study conducted by Ketchum showed deep dissatisfaction with leaders in “every category of human endeavor.” The global PR firm’s 2012 Leadership Communication Monitorreports a gap of 28 percent between the public’s expectations of leaders and those leaders’ ability to meet those expectations. Only 25 percent of those surveyed feel that our leaders are demonstrating excellent leadership overall.And we are cynical — we expect leaders to be mediocre.But the data also revealed what people want and expect from their leaders.
“The magic formula is straight-talking, action-oriented leadership, powered by honest, transparent communication — with the leader’s personal presence being a critical ingredient,” writes Rod Cartwright, director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice.The research points to seven specific behaviors to improve communication and leadership effectiveness. Ketchum spells them out:

  1. Close the say-do gap. Lead by example, have the courage and commitment to act, and keep a level head during difficult times.
  2. Strong, silent types need not apply. Communicate clearly and consistently, and with humility. Be willing to admit mistakes. Be able to bring out the best in others, and adapt to different personality types.
  3. Don’t sugar-coat it. Speak the truth with purpose and without ambiguity. People can handle a challenge if they understand it and if they have confidence their leader is being straight with them. Explain the issue, explain your plan for addressing it and ask for their help.
  4. Listen, analyze and adjust. Different situations require different leadership styles and skills, i.e. directing, listening, delegating or partnering. Each has corresponding communication needs. Step 1 is to recognize the leadership and communication needs of the situation, and step 2 is to adjust the leadership and communication style to meet those needs.
  5. The way to be seen as trustworthy is to be trustworthy. For individuals or organizations to be seen as leaders, nothing rated higher than trustworthiness, trumping even quality of management, financial strength and innovation.
  6. Let them look you in the eyes. Face-to-face communication is by far the communication channel that creates the greatest sense of leadership credibility.
  7. Traditional is traditional for a reason. How a leader communicates through traditional broadcast and print media is markedly more effective in building trust and leadership credibility than what is communicated through advertising, owned Web sites and social media channels — unless you’re a politician, in which case credibility is fundamentally lacking regardless of the channel.

 

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Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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