[December 23, 2013] In Part 1 of this 3-part series on great communicators, the idea that people skills are crucial to successful communications was proposed. Any cursory reading on communications will concentrate on people skills as a major factor in a great leader’s communication success.
In Part 2, this discussion will focus on both passion and credibility as two of the five factors. The interplay between the two is something that is vital to the success of a great communicator.
As a reminder, there are five major components of the most effective communicators:
- People Skills (external)
- Passion (internal)
- Listening Ability
Passion1: Fundamentally, passion is having the internal motivation to do something. It is both the enthusiasm to do good things and the self-evaluation to take corrective action to improve one’s self. Passion is positive motivation; a leader cannot be passionate when driven by fear or trepidation.
Credibility2: Credibility means that people believe that a leader has a certain level of skills and expertise, plus that leader is trusted to do the right thing with those skills and expertise. This also means that credibility is based on relevant experience that has formed the expertise.
A great communicator cannot have credibility without the passion to build skills and expertise. This requires introspection, hard work, and enough moral courage to see one’s self as needing more and better skills and expertise. Whether it is through formal education, certifications, or experience, it all boils down to the desire to improve.
By improving oneself, only then can a leader be a better communicator. The greatest communicator got there by learning. It was not an inherited skill from mother and father but one that was developed through a lifetime of work and focus on that skill set.
It is true that some people like President Bill Clinton had an incredible ability to communicate with people. President Ronald Reagan (the “Great communicator”) was also an exceptional communicator who seemed to be born with the talent. In reality both men worked hard to establish their communication skills.
Passion and credibility thus are two more of the key aspects of great communicators.
In Part 3, clarity and listening ability will be addressed. These final two components will be tied into the other three in the last installment of “great communications.”