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Communication continues to top the leadership essential skills charts

The Future of Leadership Development:

“The need for leadership development has never been more urgent….companies are seeking the communicative, interpretive, affective, and perceptual skills needed to lead coherent, proactive collaboration…” Harvard Business Review, Feb 2019.

The article also leans towards the serious underplay of these important relational and communication skills which are necessary to complement discipline based skills sets.

There are no surprises here. Discipline skills are based on logic. They follow a learning pattern similar to the education system. Nowhere in our curriculum of study, since we entered education until we left, were we taught how to effectively engage, inspire or resonate with others. Everything we do begins and ends with how we communicate. Yet, it has the potential to unseat even the most educated, experienced and skilled leader.

The best Chief Learning Officers are hunting down new ways to train leaders. Advancements in technology and flexible options are also being customised.

I offer another view on this critical skill, mastering how to communicate with impact.

Building empathy and capacity to be a better communicator takes heart-based work. It is the one area of leadership development that requires the heart to take centre stage. It is the opposite of logic which drives learning the discipline skills. The critical soft skills require the Leader to lead on their own personal communication development.

In my experience the individuals who become brilliant communicators seek out this mastery for themselves. These leaders place self-awareness on how they communicate, first. Simply put, this work is about getting to know their ‘inner story’ which impacts how they show up to others. When a leader communicates from within they tune into a frequency that is ‘other focused’ and a shared belief is born.

Impactful leaders build relationships based on personal values and truth. In turn, trust is nurtured. In our ultra-connected world, personal responsibility and development on how to powerfully communicate is a vital strategic asset for leaders everywhere.

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