Importance Of Communication Skills For The Leadership Role: Effective Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

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In every organization, a leader conducts and assigns jobs to the other personnel. As such Beebe & Mottet, (2016) devised numerous ways to explain leadership to help the organization choose the appropriate individual for the leadership role. They came up with four leadership approaches including, the trait approach, the functional approach, the styles approach, and the situational approach.

The first approach a company will employ to pick the ‘right’ person to be a leader in the organization, is the trait approach. This approach looks for the physical and mental characteristics of the person. If the personality of the individual possesses attributes of effective leaders, then he or she qualifies to be selected. Effective leaders hold traits such as integrity, authoritative, assertiveness, time conscience and sensitivity to others personnel. However, the functional approach suggests that a leader is individual acting, looking, and communicating like a leader. For instance, when I was in high school, I used to inspire my classmates to study hard to attain good grades to help them in their future career. As such, my classmates and class teacher who later appointed me as the class representative liked me. The styles approach, on the other hand, focuses on the job behavior and relationship of the leader with his people. Job behavior involves focusing on the vision and mission of the organization while relationship behavior helps the personnel to be comfortable in any situation they find themselves in, to accomplish the set goals. For instance, a courageous and confident person may be appropriate in leading a battle whereas an intellectual person is best in directing a logistics project. However, the situational approach involves selecting a person considering some factors such as his commitment to a given task, interaction with other people, and leadership relationship. Leaders never change their characteristics or behavior instead they change their strategies to adopt a new situation. A good example is Raila Odinga, the political opposition leader in Kenya. Odinga who was antagonizing the president of Kenya in every aspect changes his strategy and shakes hands with the president due to situational change whereby the president agreed to work with him. Nevertheless, being selected as a leader in an organization comes with privileges and challenges.

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As such, a leader is given the power to accomplish the organizational mission and vision. Power is the capability to use control over an individual or a group. According to Beebe & Mottet, (2016), there are five types of organizational power although we will discuss three types here including; coercive, connection, and legitimate power. A leader who possesses Coercive power can discipline others for failing to adhere to the orders given. Coercive power is best when used strategically, for example, threatening of termination of work to an employee for the use of abusive language to others. The connection power is earned when a person has a relationship with influential people or other people perception on the same. For instance, most politicians involve in politics due to the relation they have on the political leaders elected or nominated. The president of Kenya Uhuru, in my own opinion, became the president due to the connection that his biological father was the first president of Kenya. On the contrary, legitimate power is gained when people in an organization or a country believe that a particular person can give orders concerning the position they hold in the company. For example, employees will complete a task assigned to them by the managers, because the instruction came from their superior. The person with legitimate power can abuse it for example by assigning employees to a task that they are supposed to carry or miss use organizational funds.

There are various ways of communicating verbal messages from person to another person. One method includes Use of Descriptive ‘I’ Language rather Than Evaluative ‘You’ Language. A speaker who uses descriptive “I” is more concern with their feelings rather than concluding the thoughts of the other person. For example, “I don’t understand how you managed to complete that laravel application.” In this statement, the speaker has experienced his thoughts and feelings without judging the other individual. In contrast, use of evaluative “You”, language provoke and judge the other person. Let us say a speaker says, “You don’t know how to program a laravel application!” In this statement, the speaker is judging the other person as such the communication is ineffective. Another way of supporting your communication is solving problems rather than controlling others. When I was in grade 5, I had a problem with solving mathematical equations. Our mathematical teacher gave us assignments to tackle, however; I never had a solution to those problems. The following day the teacher used to solve those problems systematically, and that was the most effective, the way I came to understand how to solve math equations. Lastly, for effective verbal communication, the speaker needs to Empathize rather Than Detach from Others. There is a professional boundary when individual interact with their colleagues. Nonetheless, it is crucial for the leader to show sensitivity, and to care about the well-being of their workmate for effective communication.

Organizational culture is the values and beliefs that govern an organization. This includes the location, profile, technology, employees, norms, vision, and mission of the organization. The organizational culture keeps on changing due to the advancements of technology and increased competition in the industry. This leads to obstruction of communication in the company, which calls for creative leadership and innovative personnel. The company is forced to hire other specialists to meet the consumer demand and gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, the climate of the organization is of great importance as it presents a conducive atmosphere for employee relations and dealing with other cooperates and the customers. The leaders in companies whose organization culture provide the personnel with a feeling of participation, self-esteem, confidence, and effectiveness will accept the changes and use those changes for the betterment of their company. However, leaders who separate themselves from the employees causes them to feel misled and powerless. As such, they are unable to control any challenges they may face due to the changing organizational culture. These affect the communication between the leader and the employee and consequently, may lead to failure of the organization. People require having an understanding of both the verbal and nonverbal messages for the communication to be effective.

Nonverbal communication encompasses the body language a person portrays when a message is delivered. Some of the nonverbal messages consist of facial expression, gestures, paralinguistic, and body language among others. Facial expression is one of the most important means of communicating your message. For instance, smiling at a person can convey a lot of information to the other person, such as happiness and liking while a frown symbolizes stress and unhappiness. Moreover, a gesture is a very significant aspect of communication, which consists of the movement of body parts to link a meaning without using words. Traffic police are a good example as they use this gesture every minute. The traffic police may raise their hand to signal a vehicle to stop; while children may wave, their hand to show a farewell remark. Besides, paralinguistic, which entails the use of spoken language that is different from the regular communication, is an essential aspect of nonverbal cues. Paralinguistic involves tonal variation for instance when a leader convey his message in a loud voice his listeners may interpret the meaning with approval or enthusiasm. Again, tonal variation changes the meaning of the words while inflicting fear to the listeners. For example, a teacher may call a student politely “Jane come here” in this case the student will respond without any fear while the student may feel fear when the teacher calls her with a loud and loud voice.

Finally, body language is common to every person. The posture and the body movement when communicating can affect the understandability of the message. The speaker who may scratch their head while giving a speech will cause the audience to conclude that they do not know what they are saying and as such, they fail to capture the audience attention.


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