Recently I was thinking about why I almost always begin leadership development courses by guiding each participant in discovering his or her preferred communication and leadership style. I believe everyone has the capacity to lead. There is no one way to be a leader and those who try to imitate the style or behavior of a person they respect and admire in a leadership role often fail at achieving a level of comfort with that style. I have come to see over the years that it is much better for a person to discover his or her unique best way of leading, and to capitalize on these singular strengths. I use communication style exploration as a foundation for developing a person’s unique leadership style because the greatest asset of any leader is his or her ability to communicate with employees or followers. Communication is the conduit that links a leader with her followers.
It is important that each person who is striving to develop his or her capacity for leadership must discover the leadership behaviors and communication techniques that work best for them and support their style. A leader who is uncomfortable communicating extemporaneously before a huge audience can still effectively communicate with hundreds or thousands of employees. How? By recording a video or even a podcast and sharing it with her followers; or by meeting individually with smaller groups on multiple occasions; or by creating a graphic or visual roadmap for employees that gets the message across. This is just one example, but it all starts with each person discovering his own strongest, best, and most comfortable methods for communicating and leading.