Leadership with Communication Skills

Authored by: CheongShim International Academy: Minji Woo

Leadership plays a crucial role in our society. Particularly in the 21st century as globalization unites citizens in every sector such as – but not limited to – economy, politics, and environment. Leadership skills transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. Communication skills are not only the critical ability one should possess in order to develop leadership, but also an important tool that effective and powerful leaders use to lead the group more democratically and make community a better place. This paper delves into the connection between leadership and communication skills and explores the power, or role, of communication skills when leading a group or a community in contemporary society.

Communication skill is a spirit of democracy, and thus enhances the wellbeing of every individual in a community. Moreover, there is a higher probability for a community to reach a consensus, or seek alternative solutions to a specific issue, if the leaders effectively use communication skills. Effective communication gives individuals a sense that their opinions and identities are valued. This will ultimately help the community achieve a more united and peaceful status. In order to prove this, the Student Research Ambassadors of CheongShim International Academy gathered a group of students to ask about their preference of leadership in their own communities.

The Student Research Ambassadors were interested in student survey responses as they identified a strong and positive relationship between leadership and communication. The ambassadors provided an environment for open and free discussions among a random selection of students; students could comfortably speak up without feeling the pressure of being surveyed.

During the discussions, the participants claimed that communication, which involves listening to others and free discussion between members or between leaders and members, gives them a sense that everyone in the community or club is equally skilled and important. For example, when the students conducted a particular project, they agreed that they were able to participate more actively, with a enhanced sense of satisfaction, simply through interactive communication. Therefore, we can conclude that a community or club will better able to increase their productivity, as well as satisfaction, by providing a more democratic environment with leaders using developed communication skills.

Communication skills can be enhanced as an individual develops and learns the skills of leadership. In other words, individuals can better achieve their leadership skill potential and grow into more respectful leaders by communicating with various individuals with different unique identities. Leadership is most developed when individuals experience various backgrounds and cultures, and when individuals meet different people with different cultures, ideas, and attitudes.

During the free discussion among CSIA students, the students pointed out that experiences shape the framework of how individuals think, and therefore the greater variety of experiences one can have, the more open-minded and mature leader one can become. In this aspect, communication can take a significant role; communication can help individuals experience a global perspective, which will support them in becoming a more experienced and a wiser leader. Listening to individuals with better leadership skills can help one visualize, set goals, and plan for the future. Strong communication can help the prospective leader frame how he or she can lead a group to reach the group’s potential. The student participants of the discussion agreed that they were able to learn leadership skills by communicating with their friends, seniors or teachers and receiving their advice.

A broad definition of leadership may be guiding a group of unique individuals so that a particular group or community can reach its potential. However, a more specific definition of leadership may be different depending on which region or culture individuals are in. This is another reason why individuals should never stop communicating and learning about theirs and others contexts as this supports them to become better intercultural leaders.

Communication skills are not only crucial in the process of developing a leadership skill but can also function as powerful tools for already-developed leaders within a community. According to a survey by the President of Quantum Leadership Group, there are five top communication skills that the leaders regard as crucial. These skills include listening, complimenting, delegating tasks clearly, managing meetings, and having positive verbal and non-verbal communication. These five communication skills are clearly visible in leadership in CheongShim International Academy.

Most students who participated in the open discussion mentioned that they feel more inclined to respect and follow a leader who sincerely listens to their opinions. In fact, most of role-models that students chose from the school context showed common traits. There are five that we will share in this next section of the research paper: positive mindset, use of technology, delegation, constructive feedback and active listening.

Firstly, these leaders tended to show positivity, and therefore were more likely to patiently and immediately solve problems within their community or clubs.

Secondly, these leaders effectively used online platforms such as chatting apps and offline meetings to gather the members’ ideas or new inquiries. Meetings further provided opportunities for the members to share their skills and perspectives so that members could freely communicate with each other as well. The leaders acknowledged that the clubs or community could only develop when the members work together.

Thirdly, the leaders, mostly taking the form of in-class representatives or club presidents, effectively divided the roles of each member. This incorporates all individuals in the progress of community or club development. Through this communication strategy, students could feel that their leaders were not an authority, but rather an advisor – this helped individuals feel that they were significant parts of the group, and thus further motivated each individual to more actively take part in developing their own community or club.

Fourthly, individuals were overall more likely to produce higher-quality work when leaders gave them a balance of feedback – a mix of criticism on how to improve and compliments on achievements.

Last, but not least, the students believed that the productivity of the community was higher when their leaders listened to, and valued, each member’s idea, respecting the members’ potential abilities. Leaders in CSIA strongly regard listening as the primary communication skill in leadership.

In this research paper, we have explored the link between communication skills and leadership. We have come to a conclusion that communication and leadership are in a complementary relationship. Communication can help individuals seek their potential leadership and develop into powerful leaders; at the same time, respectful leaders always effectively communicate with the members of a group or community to minimize barriers and maximize productivity. Thus, effective leaders recognize the significance of communication skills and use communication to gain support, or better lead a group.

At this point, we encourage the readers to ask the critical question: how can we develop a better environment for individuals to strengthen their leadership and communication skills in a community? The methods may be diverse and there is no right or wrong answer to this question. However, student ambassadors of CSIA would like to recommend community groups which regularly provide communication opportunities ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and shared. Moreover, every member can be responsible for a specific task (for example, finance, document arrangement, and recording) in order to create a more democratic environment for leadership and open communication to take place.


Works Cited

Schwartz, Katie. “5 Important Communication Skills for Leaders.” Training Industry, 10 Oct. 2017, trainingindustry.com/blog/leadership/5-important-communication-skills-for-leaders/.