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Chapter 9. Leadership Communication. Chapter Objectives. Act as a communication champion rather than just as an information processor. Use key elements of effective listening and understand why listening is important to leadership communication.

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Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

Leadership Communication

Chapter Objectives

  • Act as a communication champion rather than just as an information processor.

  • Use key elements of effective listening and understand why listening is important to leadership communication.

  • Recognize and apply the difference between dialogue and discussion.

  • Select an appropriate communication channel for your leadership message.

  • Use communication to influence and persuade others.

  • Effectively communicate during times of stress or crisis.


A process by which information and understanding are transferred between a sender and a receiver

Ex. 9.1 A Basic Model of the Communication Process

Potential noise and distortion

Leader encodes message

Receiver decodes message


Return message encoded and sent

Feedback Loop

Ex. 9.2 The Leader as Communication Champion

Purpose Directed

Direct attention to vision/values, desired outcomes; use persuasion


as Communication Champion

Strategic Conversation

Open climate




Internal and external sources


Use rich channels

Stories and metaphors

Informal communication

Ex. 9.3 Why Open the Communication Channels?

An open climate is essential for cascading vision, and

cascading is essential because:

Natural Law 1: You Get What You talk about

  • A vision must have ample ‘air time’ in an organization. A vision must be shared and practiced by leaders at every opportunity.

    Natural Law 2: The Climate of an Organization is a

    Reflection of the Leader

  • A leader who doesn’t embody the vision and values doesn’t have an organization that does.

    Natural Law 3: You Can’t Walk Faster Than One Step at a


  • A vision is neither understood nor accepted overnight. Communicating must be built into continuous, daily interaction so that over time followers will internalize it.

Ex. 9.4 Ten Keys to Effective Listening

Ex. 9.4 (contd.)

Ex. 9.5 Dialogue and Discussion: The Differences


Lack of understanding, disagreement, divergent points of view, evaluate others



Reveal feelings

Explore assumptions

Suspend convictions

Build common ground

State positions

Advocate convictions

Convince others

Build oppositions



Short-term resolution

Agreement by logic

Opposition beaten down

Mind-sets held onto

Long-term, innovative solutions

Unified group

Shared meaning

Transformed mind-sets

Ex. 9.6 A Continuum of Channel Richness

Electronic mail, IM, Web, intranet

Face-to-face verbal

Formal report




Slow feedback




Fast feedback

High channel richness

Low channel richness


No record


Dissemination hard


Provides record


Easily disseminated

Memos, letters


Ex. 9.7 Dos and Don’ts of Electronic Mail (abridged)


  • Use e-mail to set up meetings, to recap spoken conversations, or to follow up on information already discussed face-to-face.

  • Keep e-mail messages short and to-the-point. Many people read e-mail on handheld devices, which have small screens.

  • Use e-mail to prepare a group of people for a meeting. For example, it is convenient to send the same documents to a number of people and ask them to review the materials before the meeting.

  • Use e-mail to transmit standard reports.

  • Act like a newspaper reporter. Use the subject line to quickly grab the reader’s attention.

Ex. 9.7 (contd.)


  • Use e-mail to discuss something with a colleague who sits across the aisle or down the hall from you. Take the old-fashioned approach of speaking to each other.

  • Lambaste a friend or colleague via e-mail – and especially don’t copy others on the message.

  • Use e-mail to start or perpetuate a feud.

  • Write anything in an e-mail you wouldn’t want published in a newspaper. E-mail with sensitive or potentially embarrassing information has an uncanny way of leaking out.

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