What is the one skill every leader must excel at to be successful? Is it casting a vision or value-based decision-making? Maybe it is creativity or resilience. The list of skills will be slightly different depending on which individual you speak to or the article you read.

During a recent discussion with emerging professionals, I ask them to list the five essential skills leaders must have. Their list included several critical skills, including integrity, vision, and intelligence. In addition, some individuals stated empathy and open-mindedness were critical.

Another individual argued courage and competence were essential for today’s leaders. However, there was one skill on everyone’s list. So what is the skill? It’s communication! If a leader wants to be successful, they must communicate effectively.

When I asked the emerging professionals to raise their hands if their leaders were good communicators, only a few hands were raised. However, everyone agreed their leader needed to improve their communication skills.

Of course, leaders must cast a vision and make good decisions. Yes, they must be resilient and, hopefully, creative. However, a leader’s ability to communicate will determine the leader’s level of success.

Great leaders are great communicators. So how can you improve your communication skills? According to John Maxwell, it begins with understanding the Five Essentials of communication framework, which are:

  1. Who said it
  2. What is said
  3. How it is said
  4. When it is said
  5. Why is it said

In addition to the framework, Maxwell believes there are 16 Laws of Communication every leader needs to master.

During the recent Maxwell Leadership conference, Live2Lead, Dr. John Maxwell shared four of the 16 Laws of Communication from his upcoming book. The four Laws are:

  • Law of Preparation: You cannot deliver what you have not developed
  • Law of Connecting: Communicators know it is always about others
  • Law of Leverage: Good communicators lead with their strength
  • Law of the Thermostat: Communicators read the room and change the temperature in the room

The bottom line is your ability to communicate will determine your level of success! Therefore, take time to improve your communication skills.

“Intelligence, knowledge, or experience are important and might get you the job, but strong communication skills are what will get you promoted.”

-Mirelle Guiliano

Are you improving your communication skills?

#YourLeadershipGuide,
Kim


Want more expert educational leadership guidance? View the Moore Leadership Moment on YouTube.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.


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