Communication skills in leadership

By Chinwe Ezeife

Friday 11 March 2022

It is at the heart of ANLP that each Leader must communicate well because leadership communication remains the secret to organizational success, yet for most leaders, this is a significant blind spot that distracts relationships, makes goals harder to achieve, limits advancement, opportunity and impedes overall organizational and personal success.

In the words of Katie, “Over time, we see that many participants benefit from receiving feedback to make clear concise and convincing PowerPoint presentations”. The importance of effective visual aids to complement the presentation was emphasized because according to Katie, nutrition is all about change and this change cannot be achieved without effective communication. She highlighted that it is part of our human nature to read into our actions based on our perceptions. As we know, “actions speak louder than words” so we are encouraged to communicate, and it is my wish for every leader to get good at it. This informed the ANLP’s decision to pay attention to communication as an enabler to strategic thinking and effective leadership

It is at the heart of ANLP that each Leader must communicate well because leadership communication remains the secret to organizational success, yet for most leaders, this is a significant blind spot that distracts relationships, makes goals harder to achieve, limits advancement, opportunity and impedes overall organizational and personal success.

In the words of Katie, “Over time, we see that many participants benefit from receiving feedback to make clear concise and convincing PowerPoint presentations”. The importance of effective visual aids to complement the presentation was emphasized because according to Katie, nutrition is all about change and this change cannot be achieved without effective communication. She highlighted that it is part of our human nature to read into our actions based on our perceptions. As we know, “actions speak louder than words” so we are encouraged to communicate, and it is my wish for every leader to get good at it. This informed the ANLP’s decision to pay attention to communication as an enabler to strategic thinking and effective leadership

Realtime communication skills development was carried out during the 2022 ANLP in-person session. All the participants took turns to prepare and make a PowerPoint presentation to complement leadership roles. This session also made participants focus on other areas earlier discussed, especially in their ability to give and receive feedback. It was also demonstrated that it is through effective leadership that each participant ‘potential leader’ can lead from where s/he stands. In other words, whether the Leader can be a servant leader, that is leading up, leading across, or leading down. Effective communication is very key to the level of achievements.

During the presentation and peer reviews session, it was discovered that many participants have developed soft skillsets for proper communication as they exhibited the ability to keep to the presentation time, be clear on messages, call for actions, state the need for change, suggested solutions, kept it simple and focused. On the other hand, some of the participants required improvement on clarity of information, the use of positive language, use of evidence, diagrams, charts, and visuals, especially for presentations to policymakers or donors.

My personal experience and feedback opened another blind spot for me because, the feedback revealed that for me to lead successfully, I should adopt lifelong learning practice in areas of improved slides development and clearer communication. Feedback is very important in identifying strengths and weaknesses that we may not be aware of. Please endeavour to always ask for feedback.