One of the weak links in leadership in the British Virgin Islands is Communicahion. Many of our leaders with other excellent qualities fail to be successful leaders due to inadequate communication skills. That is the main reason why I choose to reflect on this quality of leadership in this second of the four Wheatakes on the qualities of effective communication. To be an effective leader in any sphere of human endeavour, what you say should be compatible with your actions.
In this age of mass communication, an age of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok, a leader of any group, organization or country, needs to pay in-depth attention to the various elements of creative, enlightened communication. Many leaders share information quite intelligently but they fail to communicate in the process. "People suck their teeth at them." Leaders should be mindful that communication is a creative developmental process which requires them to engage at the highest level of their consciousness. The diversity and complexity of this global community in which we live, do business, worship and procreate demand that leaders choose their thoughts, their words, their gestures, their tones of voice, and references carefully, keeping in mind, differences in individual needs, aspirations, goals, cultural and ethnic traditions, the quality of self-preparedness, and the environment in which the communication is taking place.
Effective leaders should always engage in heart-centred communication, that is communicating from the heart, recognizing the humanness of the sender ţand the receiver which is an integral part of any effective communication. The sender should touch the chords of the humanness of the receiver. The communication should communicate explicitly what the leader intends to convey to the receivers using a persuasive approach. The leader needs to be aware that her communication is creating a new edge in the potential of the receiver by the communication itself. In our local every day relationships we say "iron sharpens iron."
Other elements of effective persuasive communication are the authenticity of the leader,
is he the bearer of truthz and not fake news? Is the communication clear and connected to the receiver, beating in mind the importance of the receiver? When the leader is trulý engaged in the process of creative enlightened communication, the communication is infused with a kind of ecstasy, excitement if you like, and an evolutionary tension which sometimes lifts the receiver out of his position intellectually, emotionally, and physically. The sender's authentic-self-the real you-is summoned into action, the words are inspired with passion, ⁴řfocus and intensity. In other words the sender is fired up. Once the sender is grounded in that authentic-self the ego flees and the humanity can now expand into realm of the receiver. All of this can only happen if the receivers have trust in the sender. If thst trust is absent the message may just"flog a dead horse." In order to reach that level where the authentic-self speaks when the receivers will drink in the message, the leader has to be transparent, consistent, respectful, truthful, emotionally and mentally balance, deeply interested in the goals and aspirations of the receivers, and takes responsibility for the communication process.
Some leaders fail to communicate effectively because they have not equipped themselves with the tools to make thrir communication successful. As a result they miss the receivers in their communication. The communication eithrr went over the heads of the receivers or under their feet. My appeal to all leaders is to evaluate their communication skills regularly, polish them and keep them shining st all times.
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley