Over the past several months, our leaders – in government, business, and non-profit – have been tested. Acts of God, the economy, and unspeakable crimes have required leaders at all levels to step up and serve. And while circumstances, causes and solutions may vary, the one constant is the value of communication in a times of crisis. As professional communicators and public relations professionals, we’re fully aware of the power of communication — but too often, this power is unavailable to leaders, or is ignored by them.
Following are 10 communication tips for every leader:
1. Be visible and connected with those you serve, in good times and bad — otherwise you’ll become invisible and irrelevant
2. Be a good listeners and respect the opinions of stakeholders
3. Be honest. Without credibility, you can’t lead
4. Be a storyteller and create a shared vision for success; teacher others about the importance of values and actions
5. Speak with confidence, which helps build trust
6. Ask questions, and recognize that questions are part of the “quest” toward achieving your goals
7. Sustain hope and demonstrate a genuine belief in the capacity of others
8. Show compassion and give love and encouragement. Leadership and love both involve caring about the welfare of others
9 . Speak with clarity and consistency. Be eager to tell your story.
10. Model the way — actions are communication, too. Be competent and set an example for others
In the end, public relations is about building relationships with others. Empowering those relationships lies at the very core of leadership.