This is Leadership with Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah : Communication in leadership development


80% of conflicts at the work place are communication related if not 100%.

Communicating at work has become critical because you do that on a daily basis. For example, writing memos, sending out mails, contributing to meetings and getting feedback from self and teams. Leaders see these activities as crucial to any team’s sustainability and self-development.

So this is the message. 80% of conflicts at the work place are communication related if not 100%. As part of your leadership development, to be successful or not to be, to a larger extent, depends on communication. The STS smart rule comes in handy. Before you communicate; stop, think and start.

The process must however be instantaneous and smooth. People who have done this over time, are good with delivery. Few people are gifted with it. But many of us have to develop it. Learning to organize thoughts, develop thinking and subsequently polishing delivery is a must know attitude towards leadership development.

We always know what to say and what we want to put across but we actually don’t say what we wanted to say and what we wanted to put across. True. Sales teams often experience this on a daily basis. Communicating at the workplace and in our job roles is a tough subject. People often disregard this. Yet, critical employees don’t joke with communications at the workplace and also in their job roles. A banker must communicate as a banker. Absolutely! Not jargons though. But in the same way that a doctor communicates as a doctor.

Just be professional with your communication. That’s all. It’s not also always about what you say. But also with what you write. Words are so powerful. Be mindful of what and how you communicate at work. It can curse and it can bless. It can cure and can heal wounds. But it can also kill and break bones, which is why you need to manage communication at the workplace effectively and much more respectfully.

In other words, communication is a powerful employable skill. Learn to communicate well any day, anytime. I mean communicate effectively. Communication could be oral or written. It could also be verbal and or nonverbal. Body movement, intonations, inflections, facial expressions, eye contacts, gestures and postures are key in communicating. Don’t leave any bit out. Up-skill in all.

I like the books when communication is noted as transferring meaning. It sounds good to me. In my experience at the workplace, I can only simplify communication as the B.U. Being Understood. Eighty percent of conflicts at the workplace are communication related often because people or directives are not understood. Employee A, doesn’t understand employee B and therefore employee C seems to be confused whilst employee D may not even have a clue of what may be happening.

Some start working and they don’t even know what their job roles really entail. How would they understand and therefore craft their W.O.W (ways of work). Every company has a cultural web which has the tendency to entangle the flow of each employee which is why the web is expected to connect employees and attitudes to the organisation’s core values.

Employees must ensure that tasks and job descriptions are well articulated and handed over. In so doing tasks would have been understood and therefore feedback by way of performance should be expected. This piece is not much concerned about the communication process.

As hinted by George Bernard Shaw, the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished. Interesting. You communicate on a daily basis but you may not be communicating after all, on the basis of the definition encoded above. It’s rather sad. So how do you communicate? I will still go with Brian Tracy. Exude the three P’s. Be Personal. Be Present. Be Positive. Every Leadership communication must posit the M.I.A. Motivate. Inspire and Action.

If you think the mind is powerful, try words. Words can make and break. As a leader be wise with words. The leader must however be guided by the three A’s too. Knowing your audience. Defining the Action and subsequently organizing the argument.

Communication is a skill. Quickly bridge it when you discover a gap. You often times don’t deal with it on your road to Leadership Development. Within communication, are the two other C’s. Confidence and Competence. If you don’t build and develop capacity it becomes difficult to communicate with much confidence at the workplace.

Build capacity on the job. Get knowledge on the job. Meet expected targets and display competence on the job. In doing so, it becomes easy to communicate at the workplace with that power. Get your grove on. Show competence. Radiate confidence and communicate powerfully. Do more communication intelligibility.

You don’t have to start talking and later stopping to do the thinking. Always remember the STS smart rule in communication. It makes you confident at the workplace and even in the larger society. Some call it the nuts and bolts items to communication. Tighten them. No wobbly ends.

Also check the flow when communicating. Know the channels of communication and show maximum cooperation with respect. It is worth giving credence to communication flow in modern workplaces. Communication flows downward, upward, lateral and through the grapevine.

On the journey to Leadership, learn to develop your intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. You cannot live alone and you cannot develop alone. Iron sharpens iron. Simple. Wood cannot sharpen iron and water cannot sharpen iron. In other words, allow people to also talk and learn from others. I mean, polish your communication skills, sometimes, from other colleagues. Bottom-line, Learn. This also falls under the OPK. Optimizing People’s Knowledge. In short, you need other people’s knowledge to make you smarter.

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