Posted in leadership, self-improvement

Mastering Work Communication

Too many leaders and manager think that they can improvise communication, then fail to understand why they don’t get the results they expect.

  1. Inductive thinkers tell you the whole story to get to the point. Deductive thinkers tell you the point, the bottom line, and then fill in the details that you request. Deductive- point first, details second; Inductive details first, point second. How to handle inductive thinkers when you are busy – “This is the kind of thinking that I like to hear. I’m going to need more details but I’m not free right now.” Leaders should know if they are inductive or deductive and know how to talk with people who are the other. It will keep frustrations down and make you a better communicator.


  1. Your ethos is your credibility. Your credibility is your impact. Leaders should
    1. Discern their ethos with the people and environments they want to effect
    2. Determine what their ethos needs to be to achieve their goals
    3. Write a list of behaviors that demonstrate their ethos
    4. Practice those behaviors until they become natural
    5. How?
      1. Your culture is where you from but also what your organization expects
      2. How you think (inductive and deductive)
  • How you listen and speak (Inductive thinkers speak freely, and deductive thinkers think before they speak)
  1. Your organization
  2. Your title
  3. Your past experience
  • Your expertise and knowledge
  • Your relationships
  1. Your appearance – dress appropriately for your culture, your organization, your title
  2. The results you produce – when you produce, people have faith in your decisions; when you do what you say you will do, people trust you


  1. Speak to motivate
    1. People are motivated by things and for things. They are motivated by ethos, emotion, or logic. They are motivated for achievement recognition or power. It is the leader’s responsibility to determine what motivates their employees.
    2. Frame your discussions
      1. Identify the point
      2. Think about issues, ideas and languages that will distract the listener into listening to you
  • Choose vocabulary and imagery that will focus conversations and thinking
  1. Prepare these frames ahead of time


  1. Validate
    1. Some commonvalidators are
      1. Good job
      2. Great question
    2. Paraphrase the message you are hearing
    3. Ask meaningful questions
    4. Tell a story about the person’s success
    5. Useappropriate body language
      1. Head nod
      2. Smile
  • Wink
  1. Employ your physical presence; if you show up at an employee’s presentation, it shows that person is doing something important
  2. Listening
  1. Speaking – the 4 horsemen
    1. Speed – rate and pace; Rate is the speed at which you put words together, Pace is the speed at which your thoughts are put together.
    2. Volume – Whether soft or loud can raise or shrink your ethos; speak loud in a large group and everyone notices; If you speak loud all the time, you become known as the loud guy
    3. Stress – changing the stress on the word, either shortening or stretching it, draws attention to the word and shows a sense of confidence that you chose that word on purpose
    4. Inflection and tone – Your inflection is your pitch. Lowering your pitch shows confidence, raising your pitch makes you sound tentative. Your tone is your emotional voice – angry, sad, happy, confident, or worried. Extra – always insure your hit the following sounds when talking: B as in boy; D as in dog, G as in girl, J as in jump, P as in Peter, T as in toy, K as in kite, and CH as in chocolate.

Reference: Becker, E. F. and Wortmann, J. (2009). MASTERING COMMUNICATION AT WORK: How to Lead, Manage, and Influence. New York: McGraw Hill Publishing, Inc.



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s