Leading through communication

Published on January 30, 2022   14 min
My name is Professor Christopher Achua. My students call me Professor Achua or Dr. Achua, my friends call me Chris. I teach in the Department of Business and Economics at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. My teaching has focused on three disciplines: strategic management, marketing, and organizational leadership. My interests in engaging students in real-life learning opportunities led me to create and direct programs such as the Center for Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Service and the Small Business Institute at my university. These programs focused on developing students leadership and entrepreneurial skills by applying theory to real life situations. Though these programs are no longer in existence due to budget constraints, the message or the intended mission of these programs is still relevant even today. My presentation today is going to focus on leading through communication.
Communication is a process by which information, ideas, or messages are exchanged between individuals and/or groups by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. The leaders use communication to influence followers, their peers, and their superiors. Effective communication is a critical leadership competency and is closely associated with all other managerial functions.
There are different types of communication. There is oral face-to-face communication, written communication, and non-verbal communication.
With oral face-to-face communication, we are talking to someone in our presence in the same space. This is considered the richest message sending approach because it allows for dialogue between the parties. It's big advantage is the opportunity to observe one's non-verbal or body language communication to effectively communicate face-to-face, I present five steps that if followed would increase the efficiency with which this particular activity is conducted. Step 1 is to develop rapport. I described rapport this way. It is the interests of the speaker to create a comfort space or an opening where both parties feel at ease with each other. It could be a simple joke, it could be a simple question, it could be just an introduction of who you are. The second step is to state the objective of the communication. It doesn't matter if it's an extensive communication that's going to last for hours or it's a five-minutes exchange that is going to last for five minutes, there should always be a purpose for the two parties getting together. What is the objective of the communication? Step 3 is to transmit your message which is to engage in exchanging ideas, messages, or information with your audience and you have to do it in a way that communicates or is understood by your receivers, your audience in the way you intended the message to be received and we will talk about this a little bit more into the presentation. Step 4 is to check for the receiver's understanding. Lastly, get a commitment and a follow up plan on what comes next because you've stated what the objectives of the communication were, what is the commitment to that objective and what is the follow up plan to ensure that your objective is achieved.