Articles

Thunderbird Viewpoint on Leadership Communication

By Beth Stoops

The more turbulent the world becomes, and complex for business, the more organizations are seeing gaps in their leaders’ abilities to communicate effectively across different cultures. These global organizations find themselves faced with very difficult, awkward, or even irreparable communication mishaps due to the lack of understanding when communicating across borders. At Thunderbird, we believe at the core of doing business globally, leaders must develop advanced leadership communication skills to compete and win in today’s diverse market realities.

World-class global leaders today use more controlled and intentional messaging to influence a person, a group, an organization, or a community. These leaders use the full range of leadership communication skills and resources to overcome cross-cultural issues to create and deliver messages that guide, direct, motivate, or inspire others to action.

As well, we find many global leaders struggle to become proficient at seeing the big picture, effectively communicate with multiple internal and external stakeholders, and to craft/articulate clearly and concretely the direction of the organization. Finally, they must have the emotional intelligence to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity and to make unpleasant decisions.

Global leaders who possess world-class leadership communication skills create employee engagement, customer loyalty, and are more prepared to be central in driving change. They are more effective at translating business objectives into execution, which makes leadership communication skills critical across all levels of the organization. For more detailed information regarding recommended core themes in a Leadership Communications Capability Framework, please refer to the graph below:

Beth Stoops is a Managing Director in Thunderbird Executive Education and Thunderbird professor of Leadership Communication and Advanced Business Communication. She has more than 25 years of global experience as a teacher and administrator.