10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders

In an April issue of Forbes magazine entitled “10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders”, commentator Mike Myatt states that “It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator.”  He continues saying, “The key to becoming a skillful communicator is rarely found in what has been taught in the world of academia.”  He adds, “It is …(the elements that focus on others) which leaders desperately need to learn“.  People who are aware of the concepts of Dr. Taibi Kahler’s Process Communication ModelR (PCM) agree with these statements.  Moreover, they know that they have a uniquely useful tool, i.e. the concepts of PCM, that enables leaders to individualize the way they communicate so that they earn the trust of, and are able to inspire, their followers to want to help the leader accomplish her or his vision for the organization.

Myatt goes on to explain that “most leaders spend the majority of their time in some kind of interpersonal situation” and adds that “a large number of organizational problems occur as a result of poor communication”.  He opines that the message has nothing to do with the messenger, adding that it is 100% about meeting the needs and the expectations of the people the leader is communicating with.  So far, so good.  Unfortunately, the author is not aware of the Process Communication concepts and, although many of his 10 (actually 11) principles are important, he misses the core principles for improving communication.  For example, principle 1 is about establishing trust.  Unfortunately, he does not tell leaders how to do this except by “earning it with right acting, thinking, and decisioning”(sic).  His only advice is to “Speak not with a forked tongue:”

Similarly, principle 2 is “Get Personal”.  By this he means “develop meaningful relationships with people”.  Unfortunately he offers no suggestions as to how to accomplish this.  If he were aware of Dr. Kahler’s 6 personality types, their psychological needs, their preferred channels of communication and the way they perceive the world, his article would be much more useful.  Just as the concept of Lean eliminates wasteful steps in various processes, the concepts of PCM eliminate wasteful miscommunication in interactions.  In fact, PCM has been referred to as Lean communications.

In explaining what he means by principle 7, “Replace ego with empathy:” Myatt says, “When candor is communicated with empathy & caring and not the prideful arrogance of an over inflated ego good things begin to happen.”  Once again he is correct, but again he misses the mark.  In PCM arrogance is an indicator of a person in distress.  Myatt does not explain how leaders can keep themselves out of distress by ensuring they get their psychological needs met daily.  Nor does he suggest that they not allow themselves to be in distress when they communicate with others – an important admonition in PCM.

Principle 10 is “Speak to groups as individuals:” Myatt explains this as the ability to “tailor a message such that they can speak to 10 people in a conference room or 10,000 people in an auditorium and have them feel as if they were speaking directly to each one of them as an individual.”  Again, he does not offer an explanation as to how leaders can do this.  He explains this principle as “Knowing how to work a room and establish credibility, trust and rapport are keys to successful interactions.”  The article gives readers no clue how this can be done.

Leaders may learn how to do this by trial and error over a period of years or they can shorten the learning process by attending a Process Communication Model seminar and learn how to individualize the way they communicate with and motivate individuals, keep themselves and others out of distress, persuade others to accept their position on issues, and influence others to see their vision for their organization and commit to helping achieve it.

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    Kahler Communications
    (Washington, D.C.)
    A Division of Process Communications Inc.
    8740 Sleepy Hollow Lane
    Potomac, MD 20854
    (Office) 301-983-8447
    (Fax) 301-299-7033