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The Checklist for Communicative Leadership

Never assume; always ensure.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

This is a check­list for com­mu­nic­at­ive leadership.

Becoming a more com­mu­nic­at­ive lead­er doesn’t have to be dif­fi­cult. With a little extra effort (and care­ful atten­tion to detail), any­one can become a bet­ter lead­er of groups and organisations.

Here we go:

Checklist for Communicative Leadership

The single biggest prob­lem in com­mu­nic­a­tion is the illu­sion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw

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The Checklist for Communicative Leadership

How can you ensure your lead­er­ship is express­ive and pre­cise in prac­tic­al situations? 

As a rule of thumb:

  • It’s gen­er­ally bet­ter to “over-com­mu­nic­ate” (tol­er­able extra effort) than “under-com­mu­nic­ate” (sub­stan­tial extra risk).

Make sure to pass these com­mu­nic­at­ive lead­er­ship checks:

  • This is what we are doing.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is why we are doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is who will be doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is how we are doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is when we are doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is where we are doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?
  • This is for whom we are doing it.
    Is the explan­a­tion clear? Do you have ques­tions? Can you repeat the inform­a­tion back to me?

Being a great lead­er can be a daunt­ing task. However, with effort (and atten­tion to detail), all lead­ers can prac­tice express­ive and pre­cise communication.

Expressive and pre­cise com­mu­nic­a­tion styles have a stronger link to lead­er out­comes than per­son­al­ity traits extra­ver­sion and con­scien­tious­ness.”
Source: Human Performance 1Bakker-Pieper, A., & Vries, R. (2013). The Incremental Validity of Communication Styles Over Personality Traits for Leader Outcomes. Human Performance, 26, 1 – … Continue read­ing

Learn more: The Checklist for Communicative Leadership

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Communicative Discipline for Leaders

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Communicative Discipline

For cor­por­ate com­mu­nic­a­tions in gen­er­al, and com­mu­nic­at­ive lead­er­ship in par­tic­u­lar, I recom­mend a dir­ect approach to intraper­son­al communication:

  • Rationalise and sim­pli­fy — nev­er let trivi­al tasks or top­ics become com­plic­ated or emotional.
  • Prioritise uncom­fort­able dis­cus­sions and tackle com­plex and sens­it­ive mat­ters head-on. 
  • Promote a con­cise com­mu­nic­a­tion cul­ture and debunk rumours and gos­sip straight away.
  • Always ask for recom­men­ded solu­tions when someone presents you with a problem.
  • Reward reach­ing decisions, con­clu­sions, or con­sensus before actu­al deadlines.
  • Listen respect­fully to under­stand and com­mu­nic­ate with the abso­lute expect­a­tion of being respected.
  • Be fair and con­sist­ent by dis­trib­ut­ing recog­ni­tion, rewards, and feed­back at sep­ar­ate ses­sions. 2Silfwer, J. (2023, December 30). Split Sessions: Recognition, Rewards, and Feedback. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​s​p​l​i​t​-​s​e​s​s​i​o​ns/
  • Speak (and write) plainly and com­bat the use of cor­por­ate jar­gon, plat­it­udes, and banter. 3Silfwer, J. (2020, May 23). Corporate Cringe. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​c​o​r​p​o​r​a​t​e​-​c​r​i​n​ge/ 4Silfwer, J. (2015, October 9). The Platitude Sickness: The Trash of Corporate Writing. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​l​a​t​i​t​u​d​e​-​s​i​c​k​n​e​ss/

As a PR advisor, I refer to these prin­ciples as com­mu­nic­at­ive dis­cip­line. 5Silfwer, J. (2023, December 24). Parkinson’s Law & The Law of Triviality (Bike Shed Effect). Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​a​r​k​i​n​s​o​n​s​-​l​aw/

Learn more: Principles for Communicative Discipline

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Please sup­port my PR blog by shar­ing it with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Communicative Leadership

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Doctor Spin’s PR School: Communicative Leadership

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ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 Bakker-Pieper, A., & Vries, R. (2013). The Incremental Validity of Communication Styles Over Personality Traits for Leader Outcomes. Human Performance, 26, 1 – 19. https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​0​8​0​/​0​8​9​5​9​2​8​5​.​2​0​1​2​.​7​3​6​900
2 Silfwer, J. (2023, December 30). Split Sessions: Recognition, Rewards, and Feedback. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​s​p​l​i​t​-​s​e​s​s​i​o​ns/
3 Silfwer, J. (2020, May 23). Corporate Cringe. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​c​o​r​p​o​r​a​t​e​-​c​r​i​n​ge/
4 Silfwer, J. (2015, October 9). The Platitude Sickness: The Trash of Corporate Writing. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​l​a​t​i​t​u​d​e​-​s​i​c​k​n​e​ss/
5 Silfwer, J. (2023, December 24). Parkinson’s Law & The Law of Triviality (Bike Shed Effect). Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​a​r​k​i​n​s​o​n​s​-​l​aw/
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

The cover photo has

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