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Even though we may wish it were so, leaders do not exist in a vacuum, isolated and separated from others. Instead, leaders are expected to collaborate with people from around the world, crossing cultural and language barriers. Communication skills are no longer a “soft” skill, but rather they are necessary for any organisation wishing to grow and expand.
Sometimes you probably wish you could lock yourself in your office and work uninterrupted. And that’s OK! But, we have to recognise the importance of communication as technology continues to shrink the world.
You can’t do everything on your own, and communication offers a conduit for new ideas to push innovation along.
In Leadership is Upside Down, we define communication as the ability to impart information or exchange thoughts, ideas and feelings with others. Being able to clearly articulate your thoughts and actively listen are both important to engage and connect with others. The most well-meaning, intelligent, innovative leader won’t be very effective without solid communication skills.1
Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.
Brian Tracy, Author and Speaker
Great works of art, whether they are paintings, musical compositions, or dance performances take time to develop. It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine Chapel. He didn’t even want the job, and he balked at the idea of painting a fresco. Michelangelo was actually working on the marble tomb of Pope Julius II when he was asked by Julius to paint the Sistine Chapel. He finally agreed, and the piece is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all times. The tomb (which he did eventually complete) is not nearly as well known.2
Leaders may also balk at the idea that they need to improve their communication skills. After all, most of us learned to speak by age two or three. We’ve had years of practice! Just as there are many degrees of art, ranging from cute pictures drawn by kindergarteners to the masterpieces we see in museums, there are many degrees of communication. All communication isn’t good, and we all have room for improvement. So, what does effective communication look like?
Leadership models seem to come and go, much like fashion or art. However, a model grounded in neuroscience can help you realise your full potential.
The i4 Neuroleader Model includes an assessment which will clue you in on your strengths, weakness and gaps. If you know your communication skills could stand to be bolstered, consider these four tips.
Learning how to communicate effectively is an important skill for any leader. By listening more, observing others, and practising you can improve how you communicate with people in your life. Better communicators make better leaders, and the benefits will extend to those in your personal sphere.
1. Damiano S, Cubeiro JC, de Haas T. Leadership is Upside Down: The i4 Neuroleader Revolution. About my Brain Institute. 2014.
2. Cohen J. 7 Things You May Not Know About The Sistine Chapel. A&E Television Networks, LLC. 2019.
Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute
Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.
Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.
Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership
In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.
Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.
Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.