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3 hallmarks of effective leadership communication

Bolstering credibility is not just about management, delegation and taking ownership. Exceptional leaders use their time wisely—and take care to craft more mindful messaging

By | Dianna Booher |

You may not be able to accurately judge a book by its cover, but you can definitely tell productive leaders by their communication habits and their emails.

Here’s how:

1. They structure their messages functionally — for clarity.

You’ll hear none of this whining about, “I know what I want to say, but I just can’t say it.” They know what they want to say, and they say it — clearly, concisely and directly. Their emails begin with a succinct summary targeting specific readers.

After the summary, the email states what actions should follow, either what actions they’re recommending to the reader or what steps they plan to take next.

No hints. No implied action. No unclear passive-voice constructions like this: “These procedures should be reviewed before Q2.” Who’s going to do that? Instead, these leaders give clear action statements such as, “I recommend that…” or “Please review the attached report, and respond to me by Friday with your input on XXX.”

If details are necessary to “make the case,” these thoughtful writers generally follow up their summary and action statements with the “why” and “how.”

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