What communication skills do great leaders have in common?

I’ve been thinking a lot about “everyday leadership” lately—the behind-the-scenes leadership that is threaded throughout our lives:

  • The committee member who keeps the group on task
  • A colleague mentoring the new employee
  • A neighbour organizing social events
  • A supportive friend
  • The parent who encourages a child to reach her dreams

A great leader isn’t necessarily in the role of CEO. These everyday leaders keep the workplace running, bring people together, and make a difference in other people’s lives, demonstrating truly great leadership.

However, all successful leaders, whether CEOs or everyday leaders, share some traits and skills in common—primarily, exceptional communication skills.

3 Communication Skills of Great Leaders

Clear communication: Leaders are able to speak their message in a clear, concise, direct manner. Leaders prepare. Leaders practice.
Observe the great communication of others. Know your audience, and choose words to resonate and connect with them. Leaders are not shy about revising and reformulating to remove any barriers to the success of their vision.

Body language: Great leaders use body language that syncs with their message. They can also read the body language of others.
Develop an awareness of what message your non-verbal communication is sending, through your use of eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, and positioning of arms and body. Notice the body language of others as you speak. Improved self-awareness will allow you to demonstrate and read non-verbal communication more effectively.

Listening: Great leaders let a speaker talk without interruption.
Do not finish a speaker’s sentence or complete their thought. Be patient, positive, and non-reactive as you attempt to understand their point of view, even though you may not agree. Show the speaker you value their opinion by providing undivided attention.

Leaders are made, not born.

The skills necessary can be acquired and improved. Take your leadership to the next level, for today and everyday!