Most leaders have brilliant visions, but even great foresight is brushed aside if the message is garbled. The best leaders are not only visionaries but also skilled communicators who know how to inspire, inform, and unite their teams. Effective leadership techniques bridge the gap between management and communication. But what are these skills that separate outstanding leaders from the rest, helping to turn their visions into reality?
Influential leadership techniques hinge on precise message delivery. They use effective dialogue to transfer knowledge and offer clear instructions. This piece explores the powerful techniques for enhancing messages, motivating team members, and driving action. You will also see how incorporating insights from psychology can significantly amplify the impact of your communication and why tailoring your approach further enhances this effect.
Let’s begin with an overview of why communication skills are so important in leadership.

Communication in Leadership Matters to Workers

Simple task delegation is rarely an effective leadership technique for communicating with individuals and teams. It lacks the depth required for successful interactions and can even lower workplace morale, leading to lost time and productivity. Gallup analytics from 2018 found that only 50% of employees know what their companies expect of them. [1]
Great leaders give clear instructions and constructive feedback, understanding how team and individual dynamics build trust. This approach inspires motivation and collaboration, enhancing overall performance and morale. Effective communication is the linchpin of successful leadership in modern America, but poor communication erodes that foundation.
This table summarizes why communication skills are so important to modern leadership.
Benefits of Effective Communication
Consequences of Poor Communication
Increased Productivity: Clear directives, reduced misunderstandings, higher efficiency [2]
Employee Burnout: Decreased productivity, confusion, and frustration [6]
Improved Engagement: Employees feel valued, boosting morale and involvement [3]
Professional Failures: Misunderstandings result in errors, missed deadlines, project failures [7]
Increased Retention: Supportive, engaging environments reduce employee turnover [4]
Financial Toll: Total impact of communication failures leads to economic losses [8]
Facilitates Trust: Transparent communication builds trust between leaders and teams [5]
 
Bridging the Communication Gap: How Skills Training Empowers Leaders and Retains Employees
All leaders know the importance of effective communication. Indeed, meaningful interactions are more critical now than ever with the growing shift from in-house to remote and hybrid working arrangements. Yet, according to a Queens University survey, 39% of employees feel that their organization lacks meaningful collaboration. Meanwhile, 75% of workers surveyed agree that teamwork and collaboration are vital to success. It’s clear that the evolving workplace needs updated digital tools and new leadership training techniques to prosper. [9]
Estimates suggest a 25% jump in company performance after receiving proper leadership training. However, there are no updated measurements on the percentage of leaders trained in effective communication skills. Still, the benefits and urgent need for improved communication competencies are evident. Despite the value of training investment, spending in the US has only seen a modest increase of 0.2% in 2022-2023. [10]
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Why Invest in EWF’s Leadership and Communication Skills Programs
EWF International has been a trusted partner for US organizations for over two decades. We help companies like yours build inclusive and diverse leadership pipelines with exceptional communication skills. Our customizable programs empower your leaders to excel in business and foster team collaboration to thrive in today’s globalized workplace.
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The Most Effective Communication Channels

The types and use of communication channels depend on the size of your organization, its industry, and its workforce. The findings of an Interact survey of over 2,800 intranet and internal communicators (IC) professionals give us some insight. This data illustrates the most effective communication and leadership channels for internal communicators, according to respondents.
Workplace Communication Statistics Chart 2023
Data source: Interact
Communication Empowers and Retains Valued Employees
According to workplace communication statistics, 86% of failures are driven by poor collaboration and communication. Approximately 80% of employees today rely on their leaders for clear messaging to some degree. A positive, thriving work environment runs on effective interaction, which subsequently benefits the quality of work. It also helps retain key workers by creating a feeling of respect and understanding. [11]
It will surprise some to learn that up to 93% of workplace communication is nonverbal and that spoken words account for less than 10%. Non-verbal workplace communications include eye contact, hand gestures, facial expressions, and even posture. You can learn how to utilize these with professional communications training. [12]

Cognitive Psychology: 4 Communication Insights

Cognitive psychology is a specialized branch of psychology devoted to studying how humans think. It delves into particular mental processes like learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving. Leaders with a grasp of these processes achieve communication goals more effectively than those who lack cognition. That’s because cognitive messaging boosts comprehension, leading to highly effective communication in leadership roles.
Below are four cognitive psychology principles that, when applied, guarantee to make your workplace communication clearer, more persuasive, and impactful.
#1 First Impressions: The secret here is to leverage the primacy effect by starting strong with your key points. This simple technique captivates the listener’s attention and ensures they retain the information longer. Reinforce them later for greater impact.
#2 Attention Span: Adapt communication to accommodate varying attention spans. Start engagingly, build anticipation, and then emphasize the essential points to keep interest.
#3 Cognitive Fluency: Enhance all written communication using a clear structure. In semi-formal situations, use easy-to-read fonts and a conversational tone. In spoken interaction, confidence, fluency, and familiar language facilitate understanding.
#4 Persuasion: This principle aims to harness the power of motivational tactics. Offer compelling reasons for engagement along with a clear call to action. This combination effectively persuades across various relationships and contexts.
Prepare to Adapt Your Approach
Effectual communication is all about adapting your approach to the circumstances. Pause to consider the situation, your emotions, and the message’s clarity. A sensitive message, for example, will need careful packaging, perhaps necessitating “I” statements to avoid blame. Finally, remember to actively listen by paying attention to both spoken words and non-verbal cues. By following these steps, your message will resonate effectively.

9 Tips for Better Leadership Communication

Effective Leaders Driving Teamwork Community Conversation
Below are nine key strategies that an effective leader follows to ensure their message lands well. Tailor these to inspire your own team members and achieve amazing results.
1. Be Present
 Emphasize active listening and eliminate distractions to foster stronger connections.
2. Focus on the Audience
 
Tailor your messaging for better overall comprehension and impact.
3. Monitor Outcomes
 
Effective communication leads to tangible results, so monitoring this is crucial.
4. Practice Purpose-Driven
Communication
 
Understanding goals keeps conversations on track.
5. Start by Focusing on Empathy and Inquiry
 
Grasp employees’ viewpoints to strengthen communications.
6. Adapt Your Approach to Fit the Situation
 
 Adjusting your style to fit the situation ensures clarity.
7. Repeat to Clarify
 
Verify what you hear to avert misunderstandings.
8. Listen More, Speak Less
 
Active listening is central to understanding your team.
9. Review Analytics
 
Evaluate how messages are received to refine them.
Point eight above is worth a special section. Let’s examine why active listening is such an effective leadership technique for enhancing workplace communications.

Listening Counts More Than You Think

All the great communicators say little and listen a lot. Prior to effective communication lies active listening, something that great leaders never underestimate. Listening intently to what others have to say helps foster trust and respect. This 7-point checklist highlights the key areas of focus used to help develop listening skills. Note how several of these communication tips cross over with various other effective leadership techniques.
  1. Practice presence
  2. Cultivate empathy
  3. Avoid interrupting
  4. Use nonverbal cues
  5. Ask clarifying questions
  6. Reflect and paraphrase
  7. Stay open-minded

Inclusive Communication: Addressing Diversity

Companies promoting diversity in the workplace should consider a more nuanced approach to inclusive communication. Several potential obstacles exist, such as cultural differences, language proficiency, preferred communication channels, and other barriers. As a leader, advocate clear and concise, all-inclusive communication that honors and leverages diversity.
Inclusive interactions are not only about choosing the right words but also about creating a style that is respectful of everyone’s background. Although this may sound awkward at first, your inclusive communication style will soon evolve and become natural as you develop it.
Use the key considerations below to help refine your inclusive communication approach.
Key Considerations
Description
Audience Awareness
Understand the diversity within your audience and tailor messaging that resonates with everyone.
Language Sensitivity
Use all-inclusive language, avoid stereotypes or assumptions, and center the voices of your team members.
Active Listening
Inspire open dialogue where appropriate and actively listen to diverse perspectives—without judgment.
Non-verbal Cues
Become conscious of non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and others.
Accessibility
Ensure the communication methods you choose are accessible to all, including workers with disabilities.
Feedback Loop
Set up a feedback loop as a means to help continuously improve your communication style and address concerns.
Cultural Competence
Develop cultural awareness to enhance your interactions, navigate diverse perspectives, and strengthen relationships.
Empathy
Communicate with empathy. Consider the “why” behind the “what” when considering the feelings and experiences of others.
Representation
Strive for diverse representation in communication materials and platforms to foster a sense of inclusivity.
Inclusive Language
Opt for gender-neutral language when appropriate and avoid terms that may exclude or marginalize certain groups.

Closing Comments

Effective leadership techniques are critical for workplace communication in post-pandemic America. Those who hone their communication skills inspire, inform, and unite teams, improving worker satisfaction, retention rates, and productivity. This guide underscores the true power of clear, tailored messaging and the importance of incorporating psychological insights and active listening. By embracing these principles, you will evolve into a more impactful and respected leader.
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Resource Links

  1. https://www.gallup.com/
  2. https://www.mckinsey.com/increased-productivity/
  3. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/employee-engagement/
  4. https://www.achievers.com/engagement-and-retention-report/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/communication-commitment-trust/
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/communication-and-burnout/
  7. https://fierceinc.com/professional-failures/
  8. https://www.axioshq.com/financial-toll/
  9. https://online.queens.edu/queens-survey/
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/leadership-training/
  11. https://pumble.com/communication-and-employees/
  12. https://ucpathjobs.org/nonverbal-communication-matters/
  13. https://www.business.uconn.edu/michelle-obama/
  14. https://hbr.org/scott-kelly
  15. https://www.youtube.com/power-of-vulnerability-brené-brown/
  16. https://www.cnbc.com/pepsico-indra-nooyi/
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