First, let’s start by asking the question, what is leadership, and what relates it to communication? There’s this general belief that leadership is not something that can easily be done by anyone. They believe it’s only achieved by people who are capable of heading some countries, some political parties, and other high ranking positions. These are the people who believe that leadership is a high-level activity. The truth here is, in our lifetime, we all come to certain points where we have to display leadership. We get to a stage where we have to lead others and take charge. It may be at work, where we will be asked to perhaps set up a meeting or a seminar. It may be a home-related activity, say a reunion, or a get-together. It may also be school-related and you may be asked to form and oversee certain activity with your fellow students.
Or perhaps it’s in the neighborhood where you have just witnessed a crime and you’re expected to take charge. All these scenarios require us to lead and they need us to display our leadership skills. These situations don’t care how skilled you are or your level in life. They only need one thing, and that is your communication skill. Your communication skill is what sets you apart from the rest. Both as a leader and as a follower, you need a high level of communication ability to be able to scale through circumstances that arise every day.
There are lots of ways leadership can be defined but all of its definitions have one thing in common. Do you know what that is? They all view it as a group activity that has everything to do with one showing off their power and ability to influence others. They also see it as one’s ability to make others collaborate with each other in a bid to achieve a general goal.
Saying words such as “influence” and “make others”, here is something that some people may view as disconcerting especially since we are talking about leaders getting people to do exactly what they want. This may feel as if the follower is being manipulated and for real, there’s a risk of potential manipulation of you’re not too careful.
We aren’t exactly talking leaders’ ability to manipulate here. We are talking about their ability to give people the freedom to follow them without fear of being used.
Being humans that we are, we are conditioned to live together and collaborate. We form societies and often require a high level of collaboration which most times comes from someone else’s ability to influence us. We start talking of manipulation when this ability to influence others becomes way too exploitative. In this case, the leader actually starts trying to get others to do what “they want”, not achieving what the group wants.
One of the major topics of discussion back in the days during the pioneer times of leadership studies was if one can learn leadership. That is to say, are leaders born or made?
Research shows that in as much as we have several character traits that enhance our ability to become leaders, we have the ability to pick out or strengths and weaknesses.
With this, we can better become leaders and influence others. To some people, it’s way easier to communicate with others easily while to others they find it a bit more difficult. It’s the ability to communicate freely with others at minimum ease that makes us leaders. This is something that is mastered and no one masters anything except through practice and constant studying.
There are so many times in history where one’s visible inefficiency has turned to something great through devotion and practice. Effectiveness in leadership comes when we improve our communication skills more.