#15 And last but not least: Communication

23 June 2019 | 3 min read


How balanced is your presence? What is your style? What do you radiate? What do your employees associate with you? Peace, authority, trust, collegiality, closeness, distance, fear, bureaucracy, creativity? What would you like to radiate?

Whether you like it or not, as an leader, you are in the limelight. Since the people in an organisation are part of a complex social structure and are looking for clues, anything you say or do will be closely watched both for consistencies and inconsistencies.  Your voice, your appearance, your style, all matter.

Some of you cope wonderfully with this level of prominence. You feel strengthened, a bit flattered even and move like a fish in the water. You both speak well and listen well and have realised that with your charisma,  communication skills and the stage provided by your role, you have an effective means of influencing your organisational development. Others make too much use of this prominent role, like to be the center of attention, don’t really notice what’s going on around them, search too much for confirmation, and like to be on stage. And of course, some of you are a bit shy and don’t like too much attention, doing a wonderful job in the background, but not communicating well and convincingly in front of the team.  Always seeming a bit closed or intimidating.

I don’t know if you belong to the category of leaders who enjoy stage presence or not, or if you are aware of the importance of personal communication. But if you want to develop an organisation,  pay attention to your behavior, your appearance and your words. After all, it’s not enough to do a great job, you have to be convincing and inspiring so that people around you can buy your strategy for change, so that they can follow you. How can you convince someone to follow you, without fire in your voice, without deep conviction, without connection?

The development of an organisation is often also about radical transformation. Employees want a sensible reason to change, a positive reason that is not only ‘away from’ but also ‘towards’ something. And they want to hear it in a convincing way.”  Of course, most organizations have vision and mission statements. However, nothing replaces the voice and eyes of a leader who embodies the passion and authenticity necessary to convince others.

In addition, communication about a change project often takes place before the message is completely clear. This means that the announcement may be made before everyone in management is really on board with conviction and passion. It’s no wonder that employees haven’t bought in if those who are in charge of convincing them are not yet convinced themselves.

Often the culture found in management teams reflects that of the organisation. This includes all the positive qualities but also things like indecision, uncertainty, power struggles, and mistrust, along with any and all strengths.

Your role, together with your management team, is to define direction far ahead of the operational implementations, articulate the reason for developing in a certain direction (e.g. more customer centricity, digitisation, globalisation, downsizing, merger or acquisition of a competitor, etc.), and then formulate this reason in a way that it inspires and motivates your employees to both follow  you and support each other. This requires the management team to use the same language and shared understanding of the goal, the path and the meaning. It may take sometimes to have all the leaders on board for the ride but it´s worth taking some times to clarify that before you communicate with the rest of the organization.

Getting people excited about an idea doesn´t have to, but can be challenging so a common and convincing “why” is important for getting hundreds, sometimes thousands, of employees to follow you.

Are you and your management team convincing in your strategic communication? Are you also an inspiring role model?

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

Simon Sinek, author of the book “Leaders eat last”

Golden Leadership Rule

Everything you think, do or don’t do has an impact on the way your organisation develops. “There is no leader without followers” and “followers”, people who voluntarily go with you, can only be reached through a strong inner conviction. Pay attention to the way you and your leadership team interact with others, work on the energy you spread and on your authentic communication.

You find more advice in my Corporate Coaching!


Written by Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth

Transformative Coach for Leaders, Teams and Organisations with a fascination for the endless potential of the mind.

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