What Every Leader Needs #3: Communication

I'm away at Student Life Urban Serve Mission Camp in Atlanta this week. I wanted to share my top visited blog posts a few times this week. Here is a blog post I wrote back in 2011. 

*A blog series on what every leader needs to be effective in serving Christ. * Houston, we have a problem! Communication is crucial to what every leader needs to be effective. The task of leading people is lost without clearly explaining where the vision is being directed. In order to know what strategic plans to put in place, leaders must know what the distinct vision is and how to put it into practice. It is acting upon the goals of the organization in a way that is communicating in many ways. If a leader does not know where they are going, the people will definitely not know where they should go! Communicate with clear and exact wording so that people cannot make up in their minds what their interpretation of what you say.

A good tip for communication is that it needs to be in writing. Many times leaders can have a shotgun approach to communication that ends up being spread thin and forgotten. In order to plan with a strategy and an aim is to be rifle focused and head straight for the end goal in mind. Too many times the process of communication becomes muddled with a lack of explanation. The process must include asking the question, “is what I’m communicating being understood like I want them to understand it?”  God calls leaders to be able to make decisions that affect the entire group and draw them closer to God. Explain as much information as possible and be willing to receive feedback on how it was received.

My goal is to communicate in the same way that a chef puts together a multi-layered cake. The approach is to communicate verbally, visually, and hands on. Each aspect is part of the cake of communication. Using every tool on the internet is wise as well to help people know the vision. I tend to use email, Facebook, twitter, text messaging, mail, monthly newsletter, and phone calls to communicate. We have more tools than ever before, so communication should have multiple layers to be effective.