Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » To Lead Well, Speak Well
To Lead Well, Speak Well

To Lead Well, Speak Well

Great managers can inspire, motivate and train employees, but they ultimately can't get the job done without solid verbal communication and public speaking skills.

"Since most communication today occurs on a verbal level, it is critical that people learn to speak clearly and convincingly," says Lenny Laskowski, an international professional speaker and president of LJL Seminars. "Everyone needs to learn how to communicate their ideas clearly and professionally. One who speaks clearly and confidently automatically commands respect. That's a quality that all great leaders possess."

The Importance of Good Communication Skills

According to Barbara Wulf, a personal and professional coach, unlike written communication, speaking gives the recipient a chance to react, respond or ponder. "Your spoken word can direct or challenge the receiver but can also bore or confuse the listener," she says. "Choosing the right words that reflect who you are is important so you will not sound canned or disingenuous. Likewise, the tone, inflection and pace of your spoken message can leave a lasting impact. Your spoken word has immediate impact on the listener unlike a written message that can be reread for clarity or interpretation."

Jim Tamm, vice president of Business Consultants Network, says communicating with employees is a manager's single best tool for setting a tone for that organization. Inauthentic, inconsistent or incompetent communications creates a "red zone" environment where employees lack confidence and trust in their leaders. In such environments, people are less trusting, open, creative and productive and more self-protective.

On the other hand, authentic communications create "green zone" environments where people are more trusting, open, honest and creative, because they are willing to take risks, Tamm says.

"Employees interpret messages through the lens of their own concerns and interests," says Tamm. "By speaking authentically, employees will have faith in what the manager is saying and will develop the belief that the manager treats them honestly and with respect. If the manager communicates defensively, for example, always wanting to be right, jumping to conclusions, trivializing with humor, etc., it will create a red zone environment where employees put their energy into protecting themselves rather than problem-solving."

Manager Communication Tips

When speaking to large groups of employees, remember that your tone of voice and body language are just as important as what's being said. When verbal and nonverbal signals are inconsistent, listeners will focus attention on nonverbal factors rather than your actual words, says Tamm.

Wulf says it's important for managers to remember that public speaking and verbal communication skills are just as important when speaking to one person as they are in small or large groups. Interpersonal communication is essential for a healthy workplace where employees feel valued, listened to and appreciated. An occasional walk around the cubicles to greet people, a monthly coffee chat with a department or a weekly meeting can show you are in touch with employees and give you visibility.

"The art of small talk is easier for some managers and might seem like a waste of time to others, yet the words, ‘good morning' or ‘how's it going today' just might help you keep a pulse on the members of your staff," says Wulf.

Laskowski agrees. "Don't spend all your time in your office," he says. "Get out and speak to your staff on a regular basis. Show interest in what they do."

Melanie Keveles, a professional coach and president of Aligned Advantage Business and Personal Coaching, recommends these tips:

  • Establish good eye contact with everyone.
  • Look for friendly eyes, and make contact with those people.
  • Don't be afraid to repeat yourself for emphasis.
  • Tell stories to get your point across. Examples will be remembered.
  • Practice your presentation in front of a mirror, or video or audiotape yourself to see what needs changing.

Latest Jobs

Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Walnut Creek, CA, 94596
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Chicago, IL, 60608
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Baldwin Park, CA, 91706
Ajilon Professional Staffing
Posted: 06/30/2015
Houston, TX, 77057
Accounting Principals
Posted: 06/30/2015
Princeton, NJ, 08540

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-202