Do You Speak the Same Language as Those You Lead?

This past Sunday my friend Scott Barber showed our church a compelling video of a mall Santa who connected in a special way with an amazing kid.

Do yourself a favor and invest 45 seconds watching what happened

As leaders it is so easy to assume we are connecting with those we lead only to discover there is a gap between what we say and what is heard.

I have the opportunity to encourage leaders in organizations all over the world and they all have one thing thing in common … they struggle to speak the same language as those they lead. 

If you want to remove the language barrier between you and your people the following list might prove helpful.  

Have conversations. Most communication gaps can be attributed to the fact that people don’t communicate. By simply talking to your team members you show them value, especially if you take the time to show interest in their work or life. 

Recognize that words matter. Language is about words. The more you unpack the meaning of words, and the expectations surrounding them, the more you position people to win. Your values are a great place to start defining the meaning of words. 

Clarify often. There is a saying, “Vision leaks.” So does clarity. As the leader it is your responsibility to foster a culture of clarity. If you don’t provide consistent messages and repeated reminders messages become blurry and you have no chance to keep everyone aligned and engaged. 

Listen more than you talk. The best leaders are usually the best listeners. I realize talking is a major part of the job, but unless you become a strong listener there will be a language barrier. Leadership is relationship, and great relationships are built when people listen to each other and work together.

[Tweet “Leadership is relationship, and great relationships are built when people listen to each other.”]

There does not have to be a language barrier in your organization. As the leader you get to choose what kind of culture you want. 

[Tweet “As the leader you get to choose what kind of culture you want. “]

This is a perfect time of year to take a lesson from Santa Claus and learn to speak the same language as those you lead.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What would you add to my list to help leaders improve their communication?

Comment Below … 

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Dwayne Parker

5 years ago

Randy, I am not sure I would add anything to your list but asking “specific questions” can help with communication. As a leader, I have ask those I lead , what can I improve on to strengthen our partnership. I’ve received some mixed reviews on this question, but asking this has helped break down communication barriers.


5 years ago

Thanks Dwayne!

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