By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Effective communication is essential for any leader. We use communication as means to better understand each other as well a tool to share information. Communication can be used to influence and connect with those around us as we try to motivate and encourage action. Oftentimes, it is not what we say, but how we say it that people remember and respond to.
Colossians 4:6 (ESV): Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
A leader who communicates graciously will build respect and trust among their team members. Through their clear direction and careful choice of words, a leader can foster an environment where problems are solved, compassion is shared, and creative ideas flourish. Conversely, a lack of effective communication will lead to conflict and frustration in both professional and personal relationships.
Proverbs 12:18 (ESV): There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
To be an effective communicator, we must pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal signs emitted from ourselves and others. We should also pay attention to our team’s stress level and have a high emotional awareness when engaging them. People receive and respond to information differently, so we need to make sure we are considering the most effective ways to share the information. A visual learner may have difficulty listening to someone present information without visual attachments. On the other hand, an audio learner may find the visual attachments confusing and distracting. The important thing to always remember is communication is collaborative, not self-sufficient.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV): Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Leaders understand their success depends heavily on their support apparatus. They understand communication is a two-way process that involves exchanging ideas, not dictating them. While not always easy, creating an environment of effective communication will significantly improve our ability to exchange thoughts and ideas.