Leadership Communication – 101 Things to Know

After my 6 years of doctoral classes and research in Communication Studies and 13 years teaching communication, I’ve boiled it down to these 101 essentials. So you can get it, without the PhD!

  1. Communication is the key to success.

  2. Everything about you communicates….something.

  3. You cannot not communicate.

  4. The medium is the message. (Marshall McLuhan)

  5. Words are only 7% of the message.

  6. Your communication co-creates your reality.

  7. Communication is the transfer of emotion. (Seth Godin)

  8. People appreciate your being clear.

  9. What you really gain through good communication is authentic connection with people.

  10. You impact the energy of a room by simply entering it.

  11. You have way more influence than what you think.

  12. Communication is irreversible.

  13. Misinterpretation of email can end your marriage. (That’s because people get upset because they see something that’s really not there.)

  14. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

  15. What you’re feeling is your invisible message.

  16. Listening to yourself is essential to being authentic.

  17. To connect with others, you have to establish trust.

  18. You establish trust by being authentic and open. Know your preferences.

  19. There are two levels to every message: content and relationship.

  20. Everything you communicate is either building personal relationships, or doing the opposite.

  21. Human motives are complex.

  22. Male communication focuses on results.

  23. Female communication focuses on relationships.

  24. You have a choice in how you interpret others’ messages.

  25. You can always choose an interpretation that best suits you.

  26. Being authentic is not being selfish.

  27. The optimum size for a work team to enjoy good communication is 5 to 7 people.

  28. Always start an email with a greeting.

  29. Keep in mind that employers and customers may check out your FB profile.

  30. When possible, talk to people instead of emailing them.

  31. Forgiving others frees you. That affects the energy you communicate.

  32. Respond, don’t react to situations. That’s how you create outcomes.

  33. If you react by accident, go to the bathroom and pull yourself together.

  34. Active listening brings you to the present moment.

  35. The first step in preparing a presentation is deciding your purpose.

  36. Persuasion only takes place in a context of trust.

  37. Writing things down in a journal frees your mind to think new thoughts.

  38. If a speaker refers to a famous person, the speaker is (probably) trying to borrow credibility from that person.

  39. Executives spend more time talking than listening…according to the research.

  40. Executives say they spend more time listening than talking.

  41. The average American worker receives 200 emails a day.

  42. The best day to release bad news to the press is Saturday.

  43. The best day to report good news to the press is Monday.

  44. A sound-bite lasts 9 to 14 seconds.

  45. People make lasting judgments about you within 30 seconds of meeting you.

  46. Send hand-written thank-you notes, not emailed ones.

  47. Avoid bullet points in your Power Point presentations.

  48. Use photos instead of so much text in your Power Point presentations.

  49. The first electronic communication medium was the telegraph.

  50. Make sure your handshake is firm, not too limp, not too strong.

  51. No perfume on a job interview.

  52. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

  53. Saying affirmations (the truth in advance) can shorten the time you spend feeling down.

  54. When you have a spare minute, work on and practice your 30-second elevator pitch.

  55. News programming is a form of entertainment.

  56. News programming is bad for your health.

  57. What’s bad about the news is not the news, it’s what you tell yourself about the news.

  58. Complaining brings you more stuff to complain about.

  59. Expressing gratitude brings you more stuff about which to be grateful.

  60. A thankful heart is a happy heart. (Veggie Tales)

  61. There’s no such thing as a neutral message.

  62. Your standpoint shapes your viewpoint.

  63. In reaching your goals, you only have to know the first step to take right now.

  64. Use spell check.

  65. More vocabulary is more power, so use a thesaurus, too.

  66. You can never please everyone.

  67. Groups that identify themselves as being against something, rather than for something, do not have a bright future.

  68. Creativity is really the only non-renewable economic resource we have. (Richard Florida)

  69. To make your message persuasive, you must appeal to human rationality and emotions.

  70. The strongest human motivator is fear of loss.

  71. You can gain all kinds of benefits from listening, really listening to people.

  72. If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t, you’re right about that too. (That was Henry Ford’s expression.)

  73. A good meeting is always preceded by the distribution of a clear agenda.

  74. Stress exists only in your mind.

  75. There are no justified resentments. (Wayne Dyer, PhD)

  76. People have the attention span of goldfish.

  77. Creative people should always try to do things they can’t do. That’s when creativity is needed. (Marcel Wanders)

  78. Fear blocks good communication.

  79. Fear is created by fantasizing about future experiences. (Jack Canfield)

  80. People can hear faster than you can speak.

  81. You cannot listen to a person and text at the same time.

  82. Truth is good for you. (ODE magazine)

  83. Use a lot of white space in your emails.

  84. Make sure you have complete and correct contact info in your email signature.

  85. Don’t put your hands in your pockets when you make a presentation. Especially if you have keys in your pocket!

  86. Leaders who lead by placing blame do a great disservice to their followers.

  87. Sometimes people ask questions that have hidden agendas embedded in them.

  88. Someone saying that there’s a problem doesn’t make it true.

  89. What you believe about yourself defines who you are; that’s what you communicate.

  90. What you confidently expect to happen (good or bad) generally becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  91. Refusing to discuss a problem is the most destructive communication block.

  92. Blame and criticism also block communication.

  93. Remembering a person’s name immediately establishes you as someone who listens, i.e. someone who cares.

  94. Learning names takes practices, just like everything else.

  95. You teach people how to treat you.

  96. What we know about really effective people is that they think. (Jim Collins)

  97. Human beings love symbols.

  98. Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. (Isaac Newton)

  99. Ultimately, people seek communion in their communication.

  100. There’s usually some bit of truth in all criticism.

101. Complaining, criticizing, gossiping, and whining deaden your communicative ability. Refuse to participate in these activities!

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