As much as I teach leadership, I’m a huge student of it. I’ve got so much to learn and one area that I’m consciously trying to get better is communication. Especially how I say, not just what I say. Intangible elements like voice tone, attitude, timing, etc. do matter. In the art of persuasion, experts engage everything else beyond words.
I’ve been in trouble many times by saying the right things the wrong way. Many sincere leaders have lost followers due to poor communication.
During the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster in 2010, BP’s CEO Tony Hayward, in the heat of the mess, said “I’d like my life back”. His attitude got the public upset. They felt he did not care about the chaos that the company he headed had created. He was replaced.
This is an on-going challenge for leaders. Sometimes you get it right and other times, you mess-up. It’s an aspect that requires vigilance.