Talk to Communicate

Talking and Communicating in Leadership

Great leaders talk less, but communicate more. There is a world of difference between talking and Communicating in leadership.

Talking is a one way traffic. Communication is a multi-door traffic that gives a leader access into the people’s heart.

Talking is mainly done in words; communication is done through different media – words, actions, silence, presence, and absence.

Leaders who master the art of communication become very effective and transformational.

Great leaders share their vision with the people, not just by talking about the vision, but by communicating the vision. Vision communication is a multi-door traffic to make a vision plain, understandable, and applicable by the people. This process is what we refer to as “Vision-ownership” by the people. Once the people take ownership of the leader’s vision, they begin to drive the vision by themselves with little persuasion or encouragement. Leaders who talk more, but communicate less achieve little. Leaders who talk, but don’t communicate can hardly garner passionately informed followership. Without responsible followers, a leader drains himself and could end up with grooming morons.

Talking is different from communicating

The worse form of leaders is those who don’t even talk or rarely talks, and don’t know how to communicate effectively. They could become a recluse, mostly speaking or communicating through others but not themselves. Such leaders could be dangerous to public life.

As a leader, learn to talk less, and communicate more. Communication is about winning the heart of the people. Talking is more about winning their emotions. When people act from their heart, being convinced of what they do, they easily engender development. On the other hand, when people act on emotions, they could become anti-development.

Many politicians master the art of talking to stir up emotions among the people, but they fail to communicate with the people to win their hearts.

This is the reason you see such high level of emotional frenzy during electioneering campaigns. People are swayed to act, based on emotions, and they end up becoming enemies to their own collective development and existence. This profits the Politicians because it divides the people. One thing professional politicians hate is to see people acting in unison on any public issue. Once the people show any sign of being united, the professional politicians will strike through them with rhetoric that bother on religion, ethnicity, and region. These things stir up emotions and many people easily fall for any of them. They bring up ugly history to validate such narratives that will further divide the people so that they cannot act together for their own interest, but for the interest of the politicians.

Today, I see a lot of talkers, but few communicators. As they say, “Talk is cheap”. But I say, “Communication is expensive and only transformational leaders actually communicate”. Whether it is in politics, business, religious circles, government or in the home, leaders who communicate do better than those who talk.

At FLED International Leadership Institute, we help leaders understand how to talk and how to communicate.

(C) Dr. Joseph C Ibekwe

Leadership Coach

@ FLED International Leadership Institute, Abuja

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