- Eric Geiger
Great leaders are always great communicators, but not always great speakers. Great leaders may not excel with a microphone, but they are able to communicate what is valued and what direction is being taken. Communication and leadership are intertwined and deeply connected. When leaders fumble in execution, culture formation or rallying a team, the fumble is often in communication. Leadership mistakes are often synonymous with communication mistakes. Execution problems are often synonymous with lapses in communication. Here are three major communication struggles leaders should seek to avoid:
1. Under-communicationWith the plethora of messages people hear, it is very difficult to over-communicate and extremely easy to under-communicate. Unless you are tired of communicating essential beliefs, vision and direction, you have not even come close to communicating enough. When people on a leader’s team are unclear about what is important or where the team is headed, communication is underwhelming them.
2. Contradictory communicationWhile under-communication leaves a team unclear, contradictory communication leaves them frustrated. Contradictory communication occurs when leaders communicate messages that are actually opposed to one another. Here are a few examples from church life:
- A ministry leader articulates that we want you to know your neighbors, coach your kid’s little league games and be involved in your neighborhoods. A few minutes later, a listing of five things to do at the church that week is read to the congregation. The messages contradict one another.
- A pastor says to the church, “If you really want to be cared for, be in a small group.” And then a few weeks later, the leader seeks to recruit group leaders with, “Anyone can be a leader. All you need to do is press play and make coffee.” Both messages cannot be true. It takes more than making coffee to care for a person.