How to Master the Language of Leadership

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If the response to your leadership message is a blank stare, it could be that you have not yet mastered the language of leadership.

As a leader, you want your communication to be met with a response of affirmation, engagement and ultimately, with action.

But if instead you are receiving that dreaded blank stare, it might not be a problem with the message. It could point to a problem the kind of language you are using in delivering the message.

There is a distinct “language” of leadership. Effective leaders communicate differently than do others. If you are a leader, and you know this language, it can be very easy to cast vision, to mobilize teams, and to outline strategy.

If you want to master the language of leadership, here are 10 essential starting points.

The language of leadership is…

1. Clear

  • Leaders don’t muddle their message by trying to use impressive sounding long words. Leaders are driven to ask not, “Was it impressive?” but “Was it clear?”

2. Compelling

  • Leaders describe a picture of a preferred future. And they do so using vivid, inspiring word pictures of where the journey is going.

3. Concise

  • Leaders are not ramblers. They get to the point.

4. Passionate

  • For leaders, tone is as important as content. They use their voice, their expression, and their body language to convey the authentic passion they feel.

5. Emotionally Intelligent

  • When leaders speak they keep their radar on full alert to the emotional dynamics in the room, and they adjust their words accordingly.

6. Thoughtful

  • The mark of a leader is the profound ability to speak well-reasoned words, versus off-the-cuff opinions.

7. Optimistic

  • Leaders are not naïve, but they communicate hope.

8. Truthful

  • ‘nuff said.

9. Respectful

  • Leadership language does not dominate a conversation; it makes sure all of the other voices are heard.

10. Action-Oriented

  • Leaders don’t merely talk about a subject. They use their words to move people towards action.

Conduct an audit of your communication, using these characteristics as your grid. If you find that you’re lacking in certain areas, resolve to develop your leadership language skills.

Because when you master the language of leadership, you can turn blank stares into passionate engagement.


the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow, Olive & Charlie and John, Fiona, Will & Harvey. Lifelong learner.

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