A smiling speaker holding a microphone is addressing a group of business colleagues during a meeting.

The Value of Leadership Communication Skills in Management


Strong leadership communication skills are critical to business success. Effective communication fosters employee morale and creates a unified workforce. Individuals who pursue an online Master of Science in Leadership program develop leadership communication skills that are essential to realizing their professional ambitions and those of their organizations.

Why Leadership Communication Matters

The authenticity of a business leader’s communication is crucial. It establishes a foundation of trust that enhances everything from brief interactions with employees to shareholder presentations. Paying attention to nonverbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions, also can help leaders engender mutual trust.

Exercising sound leadership communication skills to clarify goals has many advantages. It bolsters employees’ understanding of tasks, boosts enthusiasm and loyalty, and enhances teamwork. In diverse workplaces, the clear and open communication of policies proves beneficial in avoiding potential conflicts.

Business leaders can become even more effective communicators by adapting an effective communication style that fits their audience. For example, they might use a direct style when speaking with employees, an authoritative approach when talking to clients, and a stimulating and motivational communication method when addressing shareholders.

Strong leadership communication skills also encompass listening. Acknowledging and reiterating what others say reduces misinterpretation and makes individuals feel a part of discussions.

Poor leadership communication skills among managers can have negative consequences such as declining employee morale, increased turnover, and subpar performance —all of which impact the financial performance of a business.

A survey conducted by  The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of The Economist, among executives, managers, and junior staff at U.S. companies revealed that 44% of respondents reported that miscommunication caused a delay or failure to complete projects, while 18% reported miscommunication led to the loss of a sale.

Types of Leadership Communication Skills

Business executives can cultivate specific aspects of leadership communication skills to enhance verbal interactions. Examples of those communication aspects include:

  • Employing Active Listening: Active listeners focus on who is speaking and disregard interruptions. They give individuals time to finish their thoughts, show they are listening through gestures or body language, and express their understanding of what individuals say.
  • Demonstrating Authenticity: Individuals demonstrate their authenticity by being respectful and empathetic, as well as by exhibiting high ethical standards. Communication grounded in authenticity builds trust that can spur progress toward goals.
  • Leading by Example: Employees tend to emulate the communication styles of their leaders. Business leaders who want to achieve effective and respectful communication must set the tone at the top and model the communication styles they want to be implemented by employees.

Business leaders also can utilize specific strategies to strengthen communication. For example, it is important to solicit feedback and make adjustments to communication based on that feedback. Striving to be more intentional and purposeful about listening, and then paraphrasing others’ viewpoints, can help business leaders achieve active listening.

Knowing their audience and specific characteristics also enable business leaders to adapt communication styles to the environment. Besides, relating personal stories can engage an audience and draw meaningful attention.

How to Cultivate Strong Leadership Communication Skills

Business leaders can develop communication skills by earning an advanced leadership degree. Many of the core and concentration courses offered by  Norwich University’s online Master of Science in Leadership program enhance expertise in business leadership and communication. Consider the following program features.

Core Curriculum

In the program’s core curriculum, students learn the fundamental elements that constitute the foundation of effective communication, regardless of their career path. In the Strategic Communication and Information Leadership course, for example, students identify personal leadership styles and apply them to various leadership scenarios within the context of different workplace situations.

Organizational Leadership

Students with an interest in leading organizations can pursue the program’s Organizational Leadership concentration that focuses on how effective communication strategies fit within the context of organizational leadership. The Leading Change in Organizations course highlights leadership from a management perspective, using conceptual and theoretical change models to demonstrate how effective communication strategies can promote positivity around organizational change.

Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership

The Public Sector/Government/Military Leadership concentration is ideal for those interested in working in the public sector. Students learn how to use effective communication to respond to the public interest or government-based issues. For example, students enrolled in the course Influence in the Public Sector/Government/Military: Collaborating Across Organizational Lines learn how strong communication from leadership can shape guidance through evolving processes related to public policy and government initiatives.

Human Resources Leadership

Students with a preference for human resources can pursue the program’s Human Resources Leadership concentration that teaches solid leadership communication strategies through an organization’s human resources department. In the Leveraging Human Capacity for Strategic Results course, students study how communication applies to human resources-related topics, such as training and development and cultural competency, and how that influences workforce development and retention.

Leading Change Management Consulting

Students who want to explore change management can pursue the program’s Leading Change Management Consulting concentration and learn to recognize and develop key strategies to effectively change a company’s strategic vision. The Change Management Consulting course offers students the opportunity to learn how to integrate effective communication strategies in consultant-driven change management scenarios.

Advance Your Leadership Communication Skills 

Students have benefited from Norwich University’s tradition of academic excellence since the institution’s founding in 1819. Specifically, the University enables individuals to advance their leadership communication skills through its online Master of Science in Leadership program. 

Develop the leadership communication skills needed to steer the organization and career to success. Learn more about Norwich University’s online Master of Science in Leadership and embark on a path to greater communication today.

Recommended Readings

Understanding CEO Leadership Styles
Manager vs. Leader: Understanding How to Lead in a Business Environment
6 Ways Leaders Can Improve Team Productivity


Communication Skills for Business Leadership and Success, IBM
Effective Communication & Leadership, Houston Chronicle
Speak Like a Leader: 7 Effective Communication Skills, Inc.
What Are the Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace?, Houston Chronicle
Poor Leadership & Its Effects on the Staff and Company, azcentral
Communication Barriers in the Modern Workplace, The Economist Intelligence Unit

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