The Leadership Series: Seven tips for effective communication for leaders

11th July 2023 | 2 min read

LABS_Leadership-34_Blog-Header-2-The Leadership Series: Seven tips for effective communication for leaders

It’s not just what you say but how you say it.

Good communication and effective leadership are inextricably linked. After all, leaders must be able to communicate clearly, expressing ideas and sharing information with several different stakeholders and in a variety of ways from the written word on an email, quote or statement to presenting or simply conversing with clients, peers and colleagues. These are our tips for effective communication in leadership.


1) Be authentic

As Oprah Winfrey once said, ‘Great communication begins with connection’. It’s important to find your own voice lest you come across as insincere. Avoid corporate jargon where you can and show who you really are. People value authenticity over eloquence any day and will not trust someone who they perceive to be inauthentic.


2) Be visible

To communicate effectively as a leader, you must be present. Simply sending an all-company email now and again won’t cut the mustard. And don’t just leave it till there is a crisis to solve – getting out and about, seeing different stakeholders regularly is essential for effective communication in leadership.


3) Read the room

It’s an often used phrase but one still to bear in mind. During in-person meetings it’s important to check in and see the amount of eye contact or nodding in agreement, which shows your audience is engaged. On the flip side, be wary of your audience leaning back with arms crossed as you may need to change what you say or how you say it. Even on virtual meetings, looking at people’s facial expressions may give you the cues you need.


4) Ask good questions

As well as giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions to reaffirm your message and make any necessary clarifications, it’s crucial to also pose some questions to check their understanding, unlock insights you might not have been aware of and really get to the heart of organisational issues.


5) Practice your listening skills

Active listening skills go hand in hand with asking questions. And don’t just limit your questioning to the senior leadership team, input from colleagues at all levels can be valuable. Create an environment where people don’t feel afraid to speak up and try and stick to the 80:20 rule of 80% listening and 20%. All these things show empathy and help build connections.


6) Use storytelling to illustrate your points

A good story can brilliantly underpin an objective. It provides a non-corporate way of expressing a message that people find much easier to relate to than a mission statement. This especially good when effectively communicating the company’s vision.


7) Actions as well as words

If you’ve encouraged input from those around you, it’s important to act upon it. Asking for feedback and not acknowledging and incorporating it can lose trust among staff. Make your messaging, behaviour and actions are aligned.