Communication in Leadership and Management

Term Paper, 2004

12 Pages, Grade: 2

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Executive Summary

3. Communication
3.1 The general aspects of Communication
3.2 The different Types of Communication
3.3 Situation Adapted Communication
3.4 What can go wrong – the Chance to do it right The Communication Barriers

4. Management and Leadership
4.1 Definition of Management and Leadership
4.2 Management Communication
4.3 Leadership Communication

5. Conclusion

6. Bibliography

7. Endnotes

1. Introduction

In our every day-lives we can find a lot of examples for the importance of communication. But, what is the meaning of communication? The dictionary of foreign loan words says: understanding one below the other, relations and connection.

Stephen R. Covey defines Communication as follows: It’s a prerequisite to problem solving and one of the most fundamental skills in life (a mutual understanding)[1].

For the day to day work communication is “the” tool to convey job-related information, to convey “for your information” messages, to build and strengthen organizational identification and loyalty, to forward upward feedback and to strengthen interpersonal relationships. If we follow these thought, communication is the link between different people or groups and helps to ensure that common objectives and goals can be set up and achieved. Every person has its own understanding of the organizations objectives and the best ways to communicate them in order to make sure that everyone gets and understands the message. There are some information, that are necessary to know if people want to be successful in communication. The amount of time, that managers spend on investigating and resolving work related or personnel problems can be staggering. But managers can significantly minimize these problems and create a productive and harmonious work environment by using effective communication techniques.

2. Executive Summary

This assignment is mainly based on the session of Dr. Heinrich Bischoff held in Munich from 19.02.04 to 21.02.04. The first part should give a brief interpretation of the general aspects of communication, of the different types of communication, and of the barriers in communication and the opportunities for managers and leaders. To make the differences in the different communication types clear. The part “communication barriers” shows the possibilities of mistakes, which can happen. There is shown, that successful communication depends on the availability to use soft skills like self-awareness and social competence in the role as a leader. And it is very interesting, that each of these barriers can be seen as an opportunity for the future as well as it present a piece of improvement, or a prerequisite for good communication.

In the second part of the assignment the reader will find an explanation of the role of the differences between managers and leaders, of the characteristics of managers and leaders and how they communicate in their position. At first sight management and leadership are not perceived as two different ways to interact with people but at the second sight it is clear, management and leadership are different. In chapter 4 the reader gets an idea about the difference of communication in management and leadership and how small are the way gap between both.

3. Communication

3.1 The general aspects of Communication

When we are together with other individuals, it is not possible not to communicate. That means that any kind of behavior is communication.[2]Communication between two people consists of many interactions, in which they play the ball from one to the other (communication loop). There is always a sender and receiver behavior, which is divided into 4 levels of communication: the Information level, the signals of relationship, personal signs (e.g. sympathy) and objectives.[3]Most of the time people communicate on two levels, on the content level (the story) and on the emotional level (the feelings). The story (facts and circumstances) constitutes the objective part of communication. But the emotional level is the important one. Emotions are, what move people to pursue goals. How people feel about a situation strongly affects their behavior. Therefore, if people/mangers can identify and control emotions, they are in a better position to influence other people’s behavior. Effective, two-way communication demands that we capture both content and intent and learn to speak the languages of logic and emotion. “The language of logic and the language of sentiment are simply two different languages. The one of sentiment or emotion is far more motivational and powerful. This is why it is so important to listen primarily with our eyes and heart and secondarily with our ears.[4]

3.2 The different Types of Communication

Person to Person Communication:

This means the full spectrum in a communication situation like what you say and how you say it: Content (interesting? / logical? / focus on audience), used words, language and tone (tempo / volume / sound / pauses). It contains the verbal side and the non-verbal side as well. It is very interesting that the impact of non-verbal communication is very often underestimated, although the success of verbal communication depends with a share of approximately 50 % on the non-verbal part. The components of a two-way communication are the physical appearance (dress code, sex), and the physical behaviors, facial expression, eye contact, and gesture (mimic, posture). The eye contact is very important for getting “connected” to people. There are some more points like the environment and space, the distance of the conversation partners, movements etc., which influences a two-way communication positive (whether the setting is ok) or negative. Verbal and non-verbal (behavior) communication must be honest, congruent and authentic. Otherwise the desired effect of a successful communication and/or building of relation fails. This rule influences not only the two-way communication it is the basis for each successful communication situation.

Written Communication:

Written communication contains an informal and/or a formal aspect. The informal part contains facts and figures like business memos (lead to decisions or give information about decisions, one specific subject). The formal part could be for example an academic paper.

Symbolic Communication:

Symbolic communication accompanies us through our live, though most of the time we are not aware of this influence. The importance of symbolic communication is very often underestimated. Award ceremonies, well fare parties, treating and greeting people and on the other hand bad performance, absenteeism of the associates, or even sabotage often show a clearer picture of an organization than thousands of words in high-polished brochures. Very often symbolic communication happens unconsciously. Therefore managers/leaders have to take into account that one can destroy, and on the other hand support a lot with symbolic communication.

3.3 Situation Adapted Communication

Different situations require different types of communication. In general, the higher the complexity of a problem, the more competence in communication is required. While problems with a low complexity can be solved through clear directions, problems with a high complexity need empowerment of all co-workers. This means, the set up of relationships through the leader and a sensitive direction of the co-workers through delegating sensibly and giving examples rather than orders (social competence). Doing business in a high competitive environment, with a constant demand for quality and innovation, requires higher levels of competence in communication:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.4 What can go wrong – the chance to do it right

the Communication Barriers

“At the root of most communication problems, are perception or credibility problems. None of us see the world as it is but as we are.[5]

A common management mistake is to think: “who do we want to talk with, why and about what?”. To understand the situation of the conversation partner, the right approach are the question: “who wants to talk with us, why and about what?”. The main problem in communication is the translation problem. “This means translating what we mean into what we say and translating what we say into what we mean.[6]To follow this thought, there a lot of other impacts. That should be identified before communication can be effective:

This could be, the physical environment, or the cultural and educational background (different value systems and beliefs, philosophies, sex) of both conversation partners. But there are more impacts like experiential, perceptual, motivational, and emotional aspects. Here should are mentioned “trust” and “integrity”. Both always go together. The key to an effective two-way communication is high “trust”. Only with people to whom we have a sense of trust can give us a safe position to be more freely and open. As mentioned before, the non-verbal part of communication plays a big role in between.

There are also some other impacts on the planning side of communication. There is an organizational impact (room, time, distance) and the linguistic impact (language, style, tone, speed) that are important for a good atmosphere in the situation.

We have just learned about the borders and barriers that can occur when two people try to communicate together. The challenge or the opportunity of leaders is to break down the above mentioned, barriers to create an open atmosphere and to have an open mind. In this environment it’s possible to create new learning and to find new solutions. This means moving into the minds and hearts of others to see the world as they see it (Sympathy). Also in this dimension we can see the meaning and importance to understand how others feel based on how they see the world (Empathy). “Good leaders have the ability to bring out the best in others and in themselves” (Larry Liberty). In solving interactive problems in real-life, managers or leaders are able to recognize how their communication skills work.

To follow the ideas of Daniel Goleman, Stephen R. Covey, and all the other writers that have dealt with the subject of communication in management and leadership, good leaders are able to turn round each of the mentioned barrier to an opportunity in improving the own communication skills. But what is the difference between leader and manager, what is the kind of communication in combination with the order they have? This question will be solved after the next chapter.

4. Management and Leadership

4.1 Definition of Management and Leadership

Today the words “Management” and “Leadership” are allover, but what is the meaning of these, and what are the differences? Both are not mutually exclusive; in fact, it might be said that leadership is the highest component of management. Both have the same goal, but leadership focuses on the top line, and management focuses on the bottom line. Both aspects are important for each organization but the role of the leader is most important. If there is no leader, there is a lack of vision and direction. People begin to loose sight of their mission. Many organizations have great management systems and controls but no spirit or emotional vision. True leader have visions and missions and knows where to direct their company and their people. Leadership takes care that people and visions are fitting together. This will only work with a clear and credible communication to the people who should believe and understand the message.

4.2 Management Communication

Management organizes resources in order to serve selected objectives to produce the bottom line. Here we can find a kind of communication which is very strongly result-orientated “doing things right”. This includes planning, resources, organization, problem solving, control, efficiency, and working together to name the important points. But, there are some more like goal setting, clear, shorten, and select information, which contains mainly facts and figures.

One of the communication tools of management is the performance appraisal. This can be a feedback conversation, a discussion, a dialog to get information about the status quo, or a performance appraisal like a 360-degree questioning once or twice a year. But all these tools are result orientated. These are tools to share information and to have control. In a nutshell, management communication is to do the things right, logical leadership is to do the right things.

4.3 Leadership Communication

There are some leadership styles like visionary, democratic, commanding etc., although these styles have all been different but they have the same approach. And this approach requires an understanding of the underlying emotional intelligence capabilities in leadership. Now, it seems to be logical that “leadership” focuses on the soft skills of managers, like social competence, empathy, the ability to motivate and involve people, self-awareness, self-regulation to name the five basic competencies. Under this aspect it is clear that leadership is strongly people-orientated and focused on emotional intelligence. An appropriate explanation for leading with these skills could be: reaching goals through people, create an open, productive, and trusting atmosphere. Under this aspect the role of emotional intelligence in leadership is more than important. Successful leaders have a vision, mission, direction (to know where they want to go), motivation, enthusiasm, and effectiveness. And they are able to communicate a kind of “spirit” to the associates and to involve them. To get those results it is necessary that the communication style is adapted to the situation, to the specific person, to the task, and to the context. In this dimension high performance leadership means to involve and respect people in all levels of emotions. Due to this fact the ability to listen what the conversation partner have to say is one of the important communication tools. Only when leaders understand others (feelings, perspectives) and talk honest and with active interest, he or she will be able to build up a relationship with associates. If a leader is able to deal with these skills he or she will be able to give a direction, to build a team, to motivate people and at the end to get the best results. Then, only clear vision, and spirit, given by the leader helps all levels of associates to know the way to the goal. Successful communication and motivation by leadership assures that people have the power to overcome obstacles on the way and are innovative in doing this. Leadership is the highest component of management.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

“Leaders have always played a primordial emotional role. No doubt humankind’s original leaders earned their place in large part because their leadership was emotionally compelling”.[7]

5. Conclusion

There are so many books written and models created around the subject of communication. They only show ways, tips, soft skills to use, to do it better, or in other style. Every leader/manager has to find his/her authentic way to communicate with people. There is no “golden rule” to do it.

But leader/manager can significantly minimize personnel problems and create a productive and harmonious work environment by using effective communication techniques. Communication is a tool to build and strengthen organizational identification, loyalty, and interpersonal relationships, to convey upward feedback. Due to these facts, there is one

rule that seems to be very important: “communication depends on some principles and criteria that managers/leaders should bear in mind in order to get the message in the right way through the associates”.

And the best is, leaders can learn to do it right! Leaders are made, not born!

“GREAT LEADERS move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal: Great leadership works through the emotions.”[8]

6. Bibliography

Dr. Heinrich Bischoff, Handout for the session, Leadership through Communication, 2004, MBA in Tourism Management

Lutz von Rosenstiel, Erika Regnet, Michael E. Domsch, Führung von Mitarbeitern, 4. Auflage, 1999, Schäffer Poeschl Verlag

Daniel Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence, 1998, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Daniel Goleman, Emotionale Intelligenz, 1997, Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag

Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, Primal Leadership, 2002, Harvard Business School Press Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, 1991, Franklin Covey Co., Free Press

7. Endnotes


[1]Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, 1991, Free Press, Page 138, EN

[2]Lutz von Rosensiel, Führung von Mitarbeitern, 4.Auflage, Band 20, Schäffler-Poeschel Verlag, Page 219, DE

[3]Schultz von Thun, Miteinander reden, Psychologie der Kommunikation, DE

[4]Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, 1991, Free Press, Page 116, EN

[5]Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, 1991, Free Press, Page 109, EN

[6]Stephen R. Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership, 1991, Free Press, Page 138, EN

[7]Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, Primal Leadership, 2002, Harvard Business School Press, Page 5,EN

[8]Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee, Primal Leadership, 2002, Harvard Business School Press, EN

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Communication in Leadership and Management
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Communication, Leadership, Management
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Executive MBA Manuela Mühlbauer (Author), 2004, Communication in Leadership and Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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