Effective Leadership Communication Styles

Abstract

This report studies the effective leadership communication styles. The analytical communicators tend to pay attention to numbers and figures analyzing the data and background. The functional communication style supposes, taking into account details and peculiarities. Intuitive communicators differ by their ability to take risks and charm others. Furthermore, the paper focuses more deeply on the personal style of communication that values emotional language and close relationships.

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It was stated that there is no best style, as all of them are effective and depend on the leader’s personal attitude. Finally, the report examines Huawei’s leadership personal communication style, pointing out its key aspects of success that were determined and implemented by a founder of the company – Ren Zhengfei. In particular, formative components include employee-centered communication, humble dedication, cooperation, and clear purpose-driven ambition.

Introduction

Nowadays, leadership communication is one of the principal components of the leader’s success. The leader should be able to find a common language with different people in different situations and circumstances of communication. However, each person has its own style of communication. In this connection, the report aims at revealing how to leverage the personal communication style to achieve maximum influence among leaders and their followers.

Four Different Types of Communication Styles

Let us consider four diverse communication styles, including personal, analytical, functional, and intuitive, each of which has its own characteristics. First, the analytical style requires relatively low sensitivity or responsiveness. Leaders with such leadership styles are characterized by a clear, uninhibited, and systematic approach to their work. They usually collect and evaluate a substantial amount of background information concerning the working area.

Analysts are generally objective and well-organized. The leader of this type does not show his emotions and draws conclusions slowly yet thoroughly and carefully. The drawback of the analytical communicator is the fact he might confuse others by being cold or unfeeling.

Second, the functional style combines a relatively low level of emotionality and high activity. According to Murphy (2015), “one big plus of having a functional communication style is that your communication generally hits all the details, and nothing gets missed” (p. 2). Typically, such a leader knows what he wants and what to strive for. They are pragmatic, resolute, competent, and independent. Sometimes they might look cold and oppressive, and it is their pitfall that might lead to losing the attention of the audience.

Third, the intuitive style provides a significant degree of activity and emotion. The intuitive leader has the ability to describe and analyze complicated situations and to find a new approach to the problem taking risks. He knows how to charm, to convince, and to inspire subordinates enticing prospects for the future as a motivation for action while “motivating employees requires effective communication, such as targeting messages, listening, and using emotional intelligence to connect” (Barrett, 2011, p. 339). The downside of the intuitive communicator is expressed in the shortage of patience and attention to detail.

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Actually, in the course of work, every leader generates its individual type of communication style. As there are no two identical fingerprints on the arm, there are no two leaders with the same style of leadership. According to Keteyian (2014), “when those who work together understand their own and each others’ strengths, they bring out the best in each other and take more risks, respecting individual differences and developing a stronger team” (para. 3). Therefore, no correct or incorrect style of leadership can be determined in advance as a standard because communicative styles tend to vary adequately depending on the environment changes, individual learning style, and other factors.

Personally, I would like to consider the personal communication style and its benefits for the leader in building closer connections with the followers.

Peculiarities of Personal Communicator

The personal style of communication corresponds to the average level of emotionality and activity. Personal communicators value emotional language and connection and are sympathetic to the needs of others.

Moreover, personal leaders are perfect listeners. In particular, they have the ability to not only listen to others but also to hear them. The latter concept means that the leader can listen to carefully paying attention to all the details. Personal communicators realize that it is important to choose the relevant subject, to win the interest of the interlocutor, and then give him a chance to speak. Myatt (2012) believes that “simply broadcasting your message ad nauseum will not have the same result as engaging in meaningful conversation, but this assumes that you understand that the greatest form of discourse takes place within a conversation, not a lecture” (p. 2).

In other words, asking the logical and precise questions, they receive the required information tactfully and unobtrusively. Thus, the personal communication supposes trust that always brings the best results in contacts with colleagues and employees. As a result, personal communicators create deep relationships. They would like to be aware of their employee’s thoughts including work, friendship, relationships, and life experience.

Additionally, personal communicators build a stronger organizational culture and better ethics. Their style of communication embraces the most significant issues of the appropriate working environment. One-to-one conversations and discussions provide the personal communicators with a useful feedback. Such style of communication allows discussing important issues and giving employees the opportunity to ask questions as well as to express their views.

Thus, personal communicators possess sociability, loyalty, diplomacy, and respectfulness. Nevertheless, among their weak points, one might note that their slow tactics and focus on low risk may cause some discontent of employees. Consequently, it is necessary to gain the confidence and ability to convince in the necessity of the goal.

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Huawei Company as an Example of Successful Personal Communication

Huawei is the only Chinese company – out of the 91 mainland Chinese companies listed on the Fortune Global 500 list – earning more revenue abroad (67 %) (Cremer & Tao, 2015, para. 4). Ren Zhengfei, a founder of Huawei, conducts the personal communication style inspiring employees to achieve high results. Precisely speaking, the core of his leadership strategy is the purpose-driven ambition. Every employee has a clear goal associated with the best service in relation to customers.

The adaptive vision of the company is called to adapt challenges and successfully overcome them. Therefore, strategic plans are usually established in advance taking into account a set of indispensable aspects such as inspiration, cooperation, and directive style of management. As a rule, Zhengfei tells motivating stories and shares ambitions with employees to inspire them. The cooperation is also a considerable element of company’s success.

Namely, a cooperative mindset helps Huawei to expand its business in global markets. For example, cooperating with the UK, Huawei urged the British government that the company can be trusted. In its turn, the directive style of performance in contrast to the traditional Chinese approach “gives much freedom when it comes down to how decisions are executed” (Cremer & Tao, 2015, para. 17). It appropriately centralizes the limited democratic leadership strategy.

Speaking of the perspectives of the company, it is important to state that Zhengfei realizes the great power of learning. In this regard, he focuses on reflecting, thinking, and acting tactic where people’s minds are paramount assets. Consequently, there are several learning programs for managers and employees creating a learning driven culture.

The leader of the company also cares about the value of being humble and respectful. In this connection, Zhengfei states that he knows nothing about technology but strives for bringing people together and creating healthy and friendly working conditions. To prove his intentions, Zhengfei divided shares of the company between employees, and now he holds only 1,4 % of the company’s total share capital. Therefore, Huawei’s personal leadership management focuses on assisting employees to realize their dreams.

Conclusion

To draw the conclusion, it is essential to emphasize that one style is not better than another as all of them have particular advantages and disadvantages and might vary depending on the situation as well as the leader’s abilities and skills. However, the report is devoted to the deep analysis of the personal style of the communication, the most important features of which are close relationships and focus on the emotional language. The example of successful Huawei Company confirms the opportunities of the above mentioned style. Ren Zhengfei created such a company that bases on deep personal relationships, trust, and clear purpose.

References

Barrett, D. J. (2011). Leadership communication (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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Cremer, D. D., & Tao, T. (2015). Leading Huawei: Seven Leadership Lessons of Ren Zhengfei. The European Business Review. Web.

Keteyian, R. V. (2014). How To Discover Your Individual Communication Style. Fast Company. Web.

Murphy, M. (2015). Which Of These 4 Communication Styles Are You? Forbes. Web.

Myatt, M. (2012). 10 Communication Secrets of Great Leaders. Forbes. Web.

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