DMA Communication introduces the individual communication coaching – ten days that can change your business life

Communication is key to successful business. We acknowledge there are two fundamental steps in the business career of any successful individual. 
A first step, typically at a younger age, in which the foundations of your communication take shape in terms of skills, style, charisma and influence. These elements make you stand out and find your way.
A second step in which you have knowledge of your capabilities, you’ve found your way, you are conscious of your potential. That is the time you need your communication skills, style, charisma and influence to up your game adequately.
In any of these times a high profile communication pro steps in and can truly make the difference in your career. Surprisingly, many businesswomen and businessmen we’ve met and coached, didn’t expect how much their choice of having a communication pro step in, would make the difference.

Our communication coaching for individuals makes the difference and is tailored around you and your requirements. Since the first contact we will help you assess exactly what you need to step up and help you all the way through. The course takes ten days. We give you a tailored 1-1 communication coaching to help you engage every audience, every time.


“Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.” James MacGregor Burns

“Courage is the ‘x’ factor that can make or break corporate America” Warren Bennis

“Leadership is taking people to places they’ve never been before.” Marie Kane

“Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement.” C. F. Rauch and O. Behling

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

“The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers. Leaders, followers, and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership.” Garry Wills

“Great leaders rally people to a better future.” Marcus Buckingham

“Leadership is enacted through communication” J. K. Barge

“I don’t like to boss people around. I don’t get motivated by telling people what to do, I don’t take any pleasure in it. So, I manage with curiosity by asking questions.” Brian Grazer

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” Abraham Lincoln

“Difficulties exist to be surmounted.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The fundamental purpose of leadership is to produce useful change, especially non-incremental change.” John Kotter

“Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a
group of individuals to achieve a common goal.” Peter Northouse
“When you hire people who are smarter than you are, you prove you are smarter than they are.” R.H. Grant

“Leadership is successfully creating positive change for the common good.” Todd Sorensen et al.

“He who moves not forward goes backward.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.” Edward R. Murrow

“Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” Richard Branson

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

“Great leaders drive change.” Jeff Immelt

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” Socrates

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” Socrates
“What is an intelligent man? A man who enters with ease and completeness into the spirit of things and the intention of persons, and who arrives at an end by the shortest route.” Henry Frédéric Amiel

“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Socrates

“To find yourself, think for yourself.” Socrates

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupéry

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” George S. Patton

“Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline … Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty. When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader.” Jia Lin

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” Plato
“Leadership is not a ‘mystical or ethereal concept’. Rather, leadership is an observable, learnable set of practices. Certainly, leaders make a difference. There is no question about that.” Bernard Bass

“There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept” Stogdill

“the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement” Stogdill (1950)

“interpersonal influence, exercised in a situation, and directed, through the communication process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals” Tannenbaum, Weschler, and Massarik (1961)

“Leadership requires using power to influence the thoughts and actions of other people” Zaleznik (1977)

“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Plato

“the process of moving a group (or groups) in some direction through mostly non-coercive means” Kotter (1988)

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“leadership is an interaction between two or more members of a group that often involves a structuring or restructuring of the situation and the perceptions and expectations of members…Leadership occurs when one group member modifies the motivation or competencies of others in the group. Any member of the group can exhibit some amount of leadership…” Bass (1990)

“A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the work of others” Handy (1992)

“Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes” Rost (1993)

“Leadership is the capacity to create a compelling vision and to translate vision into organizational realities” Bennis (1995)

“The only definition of a leader is someone that have followers” Drucker (1996)

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein

“Leadership is the process of interactive influence that occurs when, in a given context, some people accept someone as their leader to achieve common goals” Silva (2016)

“there is too much mathematics and not enough wisdom” Maurice Godelier

“from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule” Aristotle

“A gentleman first wins the trust of his people, and then he can mobilize them. Without this trust, they might feel they are being ill-used. He first wins the trust of his prince, and then he may offer criticism. Without this trust, the prince might feel he is being slandered” Confucius

“The qualities of social leaders are wind, the qualities of the common people are grass; grass will always bend in the wind” Confucius

“Cultivated people seek from themselves; small people seek from others” Confucius

“The concept of a leader cannot be defined independently of what a ‘good’ leader is expected to accomplish.” Kodish

“A man who has the knowledge but lacks the power clearly to express it is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all.” Pericles

“I don’t know any other way to be than a leader by example.” Fat Joe, rapper
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” Warren Bennis

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ronald Reagan

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

“We run this company on questions, not answers.” Eric Schmidt

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” General George Patton

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” Ken Kesey
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” Queen Elizabeth II

“When I give a minister an order, I leave it to him to find the means to carry it out.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” Ken Blanchard
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” John Maxwell

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” Theodore Roosevelt

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” Jim Rohn

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” Herbert Swope

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Estée Lauder

“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curios.” Albert Einstein

The toolbox of leading communicators

A toolbox is a toolbox. A set of well-honed tools that the home builder takes on the job and uses when he or she considers them necessary. It is appropriate to look into the toolbox of a leader, we can learn much from the toolbox, but not really from the type of tools the leader uses, rather from the care and inspiration the leader has when using them. So, let’s abandon that wrong habit of seeking to define a leadership style by the set of tools that the leader uses, let’s have clear in mind that there are no leadership styles, there are only leaders. You will notice that some tools, as is typical of tools, overlap functions. Tools are instrumental, they are functional objects that the leader may or may not use depending on what he or she is doing. It is very important to know you can use them, but they are only tools, not all have to be used and not always. Let’s have a look at the leader’s toolbox of behaviors and skills.

This is the tool number one. Be yourself, believe in yourself and your inspiration, follow your instinct. Don’t be afraid to show yourself for what you are, weaknesses included. What makes you a leader is your fight for the achievement. Forget success, that is a consequence. Endeavor is the essence and when you endeavor you also make errors and fight against your weaknesses. Authenticity is the most powerful tool a high leader has, it is the base of charisma.

Intended as the quality to adapt to new conditions or change, it is a fundamental requirement for a leader: situations and environments are continuously evolving and changing, determining constant adaptation of operational thought. Adaptability is a point of strength, vision and goal remain unchanged, the road and means to realize them may functionally adapt to changes in the environment.

Champion change
Change is not a weakness, change is open-mindedness and pragmatic knowledge that there may be many ways to reach a goal. While the focus on the goal must never be touched, as in the above point, being open to reach that goal through different roads is greatly stimulating for all the team, who can then contribute with differing points of view and compare them before taking action.

A leader should always be actively involved with the team. The involvement is not only at the level of sharing and inspiring the vision for the same goal but gets down to develop a personal relationship with each team member to support individual development and foster continual growth. The leader’s ability is that to bind the individual’s development to the organizational goals. Mistakes from team members should be faced by the leader by giving feedbacks that fix the problem and help grow. Relations with team members should be based on a developmental plan that is reviewed and upgraded individually from time to time. Delegating is also indispensable to grow team members.

A leader always follows through on actions, promises and assignments.

Transparency builds trust. Communication reinforces the team’s motivation and productivity. It clarifies thoughts and speeds up processes but, above all, it establishes the magic sequence of connection, inspiration, persuasion.

Steadiness of a leader in day to day activity and expectations is extremely important for the team. Consistency means a leader has competence and knowledge of what he or she is doing. Having a defined set of rules to rely on and a clear and stable objective, is strongly stimulating for the team. On the contrary a frequent change of path, mood or behavior from the leader is enormously frustrating for the team. Change, obviously, is in the nature of a leader and in any complex project it is a positive quality, but change intended as functional to a constant objective is the opposite of repetitive change because the objective is unclear, and the mood is stressed.

Encourage all the team’s creative side and imagination. Let the team propose parallel routes or even plan Bs, organize a cyclical creative meeting where the project you are working on is discussed and seen from a purely creative side, call it the ‘crazy meeting’. Far from crazy, I drew some of the best ideas and solutions precisely from these meetings. Creativity is also an incredible builder of relations within the team.

Know when to stop analyzing an issue and make a decision.

Depth of field and Open mindedness
Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appear acceptably sharp. In leadership it is looking with perspective at where you have been, where you are and where you want to go. It is this sense of perspective that permits a leader to constantly adapt the characteristics and the aim of an organization to the ever-changing world in order to obtain the best performance possible. This perspective requires a certain degree of flexibility and the ability to constantly adapt to unexpected or changing situations.

Determination is firmness of purpose. It is a resoluteness to pursue the goal of the project also in front of difficulties and doubts. High leadership projects almost always bring innovation and innovative projects almost never follow paved roads, on the contrary these projects require that you open the way for yourself. This is one of the most difficult things to do because there are no reference points and seeking support for one’s own decisions is impossible, even the best intentioned don’t fully understand where you are heading and what is at stake. A leader doesn’t head forward blindly but constantly puts constructively into discussion each choice and this makes moving forward extremely difficult. Determination is, ultimately, what makes the leader move forward and it comes out of the leader’s inspiration and belief that what he or she is doing is right.

When you are opening up your own path you can’t expect guidance and you can’t rely on anyone except yourself.
A disciplined and clearly planned process is fundamental
to keep track of you and your team’s work.

Always support diversity. It is an enormous resource of ideas, points of view, open-mindedness. It is a positive side of life.

Empathetic approach
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is an essential tool to establish communication and trust between the team. Empathy does not necessarily imply that you agree with the other’s feelings or thoughts, but it means you see and understand their point of view. This is a heavy-duty tool to establish strong collaborations. Empathy (from the Greek in – ‘inside’ and pathos – ‘feelings’) is the Greek synonym of the Latin word compassion (from the Latin ‘suffer with’, ‘feel with’) and both mean sharing the same passion, the same feelings in the positive sense of understanding.

Leaders should always empower people at all levels to make decisions. Distribution of responsibility is not only healthy for the organization, stimulating fresh ideas but also enables the leader to evaluate the team and each individual’s ability.
Empowerment means first of all sharing a same vision and
giving others the chance to actively participate to that vision. It is as powerful as the sound of the word itself because what human beings can do when they share a common value and a common objective, is incredible. When we talk about empowerment we are talking about the art of leadership because when a leader is empowering others to become leaders, he or her is giving them the vision and stepping back. It is when you learn how to step back that you obtain the highest commitment from the team.

Ethics and integrity are a very common interpretation of the leader. It is also very boring and untrue.
A leader is an inspired individual who has a vision to change the world for the better: in this sense integrity means remaining attached to one’s own inspiration and vision and not letting contingency change what you believe in, even when it is difficult or unpopular to stay the course.
The leader’s ethics, or moral code, is set, when necessary, to stretch things just a little beyond limits, for the good of the project. But it needs to be very clear that the daring of a leader is done with judgement and pragmatism. Success at all costs is never contemplated in the ethics of a true leader, rather it is success at the cost of stretching a little, for the benefit of the less inspired and less daring who would have not reached the same results. In this sense the excesses of some unashamed leaders who lost the sense of living is in no way justified here.
The strong inner faith and the daring of an enlightened
leader often are the winning factors that bring success and change. The ability of the leader is really that to work on the borderline. As soon as a leader falls beyond the limits of what is commonly considered acceptable not to say legal, that leader will have completely lost all the respect and recognition of the team.

Anyone makes mistakes or misjudges situations. Don’t be afraid to show your errors and mistakes. Acknowledging a limit makes you honest and trustworthy. Errors develop relations and bring to surface the others real intentions. Often, a leader admitting an error strongly improves his charisma and influence over a team who will want to step in and help solve the problem.

Exercise power
Too much attention is given in the last decades to the qualities of an empathic, collaborative, humble leader. These qualities are good and necessary but as long as they are framed within the general behavior of a leader. A high leader remains what it is: a leader. And there is nothing more inspiring, motivating and reassuring than a leader that ultimately exercises power by pronouncing the last word and leading the way. Listen, participate, understand, use but ultimately go ahead and lead.

Fair treatment
Treat everyone fairly. Have one standard that applies for all. Impose clear roles and responsibilities. Require that anyone talks outright about any issue, don’t let gossip become the means of communicating issues.

Firm and unwavering focus on the objective
The objective, once identified, must be pursued. Changes in the situation do not put on hold the operational leader’s actions but require the leader to recalibrate the actions to take in relation to the changed situation. This also means involving the team and discussing with the team the possible change, on the basis of a firm focus. This greatly stimulates and motivates the team because it generates a very collaborative environ-ment in which everybody fights for a common objective.

Freedom of action
Freedom of action is essential for a leader. It allows the leader to use competence, experience and pragmatic imagination at his or her best to effectively reach the expected results. There are many threats to freedom of action that begin with a board unable to accept the risks or share the strategy and end with the organization’s social or legal limitations. Reasonably stretching limitations with the objective of completing the project is part of the leader’s duties, however this is a delicate behavior that may compromise the entire project and must be considered very carefully. The courage of the leader to act for the benefit of the project and maintain freedom of action, when used with judgement, benefits the organization who is usually less willing to take risks as a whole, but also benefits the team who is strongly motivated by a courageous leader, who believes in the project to the point of taking risks for the project.

Gender and inclusion
Any gender and / or inclusion issue should be killed at the origin. Issues must be addressed firmly and quickly. The message for the team is not only that these issues are not accepted but they are deeply wrong. Depending on the cultural level of the leader, make historical examples. If you don’t have any, take your time to search and address the issue the following day.

Leadership is about creating an environment where everybody can recognize and share their values and find opportunity. Helping people bring forward their innovative thinking also helps the organization’s development by making the most of people’s creativity. In such an environment everybody feels they are having an impact and want to give more.

Lead by example
A leader always is an example for the team. Giving the example means showing your commitment to the project and your determination in executing it. Furthermore, giving the example also means establishing a collaborative environment in which the team can share your experience and competence and grow by learning directly from the leader. Above all, leading by example secures trust from the team, who sees a coherent and genuine leader. There should never be any distinction between what you say is what you do, this is a strong example that helps build your influence. Actions speak louder than words.

Listening is a very powerful tool for leaders. It helps the team feel committed to the project and it rapidly develops a collaborative environment. It also empowers each team member, who feels as actively contributing to the project’s development also at strategic level and respected by the leader. Listening also develops the human relations between leader and team members, and helps the leader better understand each team member contribution. Being able to listen and understand others gives you the possibility to analyze, feedback and act in function of what others tell you and this involves also adapting your strategy. A leader should encourage others, also with personal behavior, to talk and learn to listen.

Motivation is a super powerful tool. It creates a string sense of belonging in all the team and it improves the team’s performance and energy. A motivated team is inevitably also an individually inspired team that effectively contributes to the project. Motivated teams take responsibility for what they do; are ready to put in discussion each step because they don’t perceive criticism in discussing but perceive constructive collaboration to faster or better reach the project’s goal; communicate transparently; have a proactive behavior to the benefit of the organization.

Passion is an essential trait of a leader. We’ve talked about it extensively in the previous chapter. What passion kicks off, determination accomplishes. Any activity, no matter how successful you see it, has its highs and lows. A leader crosses troubled waters keeping calm and cool, focusing on the goal and single action plans, determined to move forward.

Any leader knows he or she is unable to have full knowledge and full control of any given situation. Experience, instinct, information, analysis, all contribute to build up a neat picture upon which to take a decision. However, a leader knows there are always areas of uncertainty and the unpredictable factor. On the other hand, following the ideal road may become time consuming or energy consuming. Pragmatism is that balanced approach that permits a leader to follow the chosen road, while being always ready to change by taking into account the surrounding environment and risks.

I consider reading novels and handbooks as one of the strongest means for developing leadership. Literature offers an unlimited insight into the thought processes and behaviors of human beings and is essential to learning and understanding leadership. Leaders read and learn from classical and modern literature.

Always accept responsibility for your actions.

Each single achievement is achieved by the team, it is never achieved by the leader. Step back, give oxygen to the team, let them triumph when a result is achieved. A team that feels ownership of the project is an incredibly productive team. When there is a failure that depends on the team, support the team in analyzing and discussing the errors but take ultimate responsibility. Everyone knows the responsibility is not yours or not exclusively yours, but they will see how much you believe in the team and how much you are ready to support it. this will greatly stimulate the team to do better and more.

Shake hands
Always look straight into the eyes and shake hands vigorously but not to the point hurting others.

Set a clear strategic direction, feel confident with your decision, pursue that direction without hesitation.

Let others talk to understand their position and approach before you talk. Don’t get directly into business but talk about anything else, never be the first to bring up business because the first who does this is the one more in need. Reflect carefully on the words you use, even at the cost of talking slower than ideal: your use and choice of words tells much about how you feel secure about yourself and about your cultural strength, belief and control over the project you are leading.

Team activity
When possible and independently from the organization, arrange for an extra sports or leisure activity where the whole team can participate. Relations improve, objectives are shared.

Transparency stimulates conversation and improvement of everyday practices. Sharing information at all levels of leadership brings a higher level of performance because it helps reach a better understanding of the problem and subsequently of the solution.

Trust has to be earned and you earn it only on field. You earn trust when you believe in your project and you fight every day for your project, you are willing to involve your team for the achievement of the common goal. Unconditioned commitment to your project, availability to put yourself into discussion for the benefit of the project, actions and reactions always functional to the good of the project build trust. Be ready to say ‘Excuse me’ when you are wrong and be ready to say ‘Do as I say’ when you are right. When you pronounce these words openly and firmly, you have obtained the trust of you team and all those that participate to your project.

The language and vocabulary of leaders

As marginal as it may seem at the first appearance, actually the vocabulary of a leader has a tremendous impact. The use of an appropriate vocabulary impacts at two different levels: at an instinctive level, by asserting the leader’s knowledge and charisma; at a practical level by separating roles and smoothing relations as well as motivating the team. At instinctive level the simple fact that, as a leader, you use a particular set of words or you construct your phrases in a particular way, opening a direct channel with others and making easier the influencing effect. At practical level the use you make of language sets or confirms your role as a leader, makes relations fluid (relations and respect always benefit when roles are clear) and motivate the team who sees a competent leader.
Language, and vocabulary, are very important for a leader as they can open the communication with the team when used appropriately or raise barriers when used inappropriately. Effective leaders communicate differently than others and this translates into motivation, mobilization of teams and casting vision.
Human beings are the fastest processors you’ll find around for still a very long time, especially if you consider that as living beings we are not only processing data based on numbers or yes and no, but we are simultaneously processing data and emotions, sensations, feelings each of which has again an innumerable number of nuances. A human being is able to process all this information in a fraction of a second and return you the verdict in terms of I’m available / I’m not available do know more and go farther.
Nobody knows who you are, what is your inspiration, what level of charismatic influence you can reach, how strong and determined you are towards your goals. Nobody knows what kind of leader you are and this is perfectly legitimate if these people have never met you before. Your past experiences have only a relative importance in this process because whatever others said or wrote about you, it will all be leveled the first time you meet with a team or an individual that will have to share a project with you. Each individual relating to you, whether you talk to the whole team or to the single, will open a direct communication channel and evaluate you independently from any other information they may have received.
When you relate to a team and each ‘human processor’ in the team, it will actually take a few fractions of a minute to
assert yourself as a leader or to lose control. Then you have either conquered or lost them. The information crossing from you to the team in those seconds is mainly channeled through language and vocabulary.
There is also other information that passes in those instants, for instance body language, however this information in the case of the leader is rather compressed and brought down to minimum levels, because the fact that you have been introduced as ‘the leader’ gives you enormous prestige and credit at the eyes of the team, to the point that you could almost stand there in front of them motionless and your body language would still be fine, since you are ‘the leader’.
So, it actually is what you say – your vocabulary – and the approach you give to the discussion – your construction of the concepts – that will convey most of the information about your leadership in those few seconds.
Your authoritativeness as a leader comes directly from your approach and your vocabulary. What you say and how you say it will greatly influence your interlocutor, the other and the team as a whole, and it will also set the pace of your effectiveness as a leader.

The linguistic approach of the leader
The rule is to make it simple, make it simple, make it simple. Whoever you are talking to, however competent you are, whatever technical jargon you may exhibit or cultural level you may parade, make it simple. Simplicity in the linguistic approach conquers. Simplicity in the linguistic approach also tells you know extremely well your subject, you have absolutely nothing to show-off and you have the elegance of a leader that knows the subject and needs not show-off since a long time.
Of course, if anyone tries to raise the level of language with an impolite provocation, your answer even though again simple, will include that single word or concept that straightens the provoker by clearly showing you can raise the level of language whenever you want.
Simplicity finally puts at ease the team by conveying everybody the message that you are concentrated on the goal and that you want to share strategies to get there and not lose time in the details.
However, simplicity in language is never a starting point, rather it is a sophisticated point of arrival. Take into consideration that when you talk you always, instinctively, talk differently depending on three main factors:

  1. Your interlocutor;
  2. The subject you are talking about;
  3. The proposed aim of your talking.

Language is dynamic and these main factors will constantly adapt and change even during the same situation. A leader will essentially talk with a basic, simple language (the code), and he or she will draw from the technical jargon (the subcode) only when strictly necessary. If one or more of the team members has a higher education level or use of the language, the leader will adapt to the lower level but sometimes, when addressing these members, the leader will raise the language level, both to confirm the leader is addressing everybody individually and to reassert the leader, whilst simplifying, knows a higher language approach and is in control.
The linguistic approach of the leader bears one ultimate nuance, it never precisely aligns with the interlocutor or the team as a whole. Never aligning means that the leader uses a different register, a variety of language or level of usage, that sets the leader slightly apart from the team, reminding the team the leader is apart, thus preserving the necessary influence on the team.

The vocabulary of the leader
The choice of words of the leader goes together with the linguistic approach of the leader. Leadership has a specialized vocabulary. However, the rule here, like with the linguistic approach, is, again, make it simple. Use technical jargon only and exclusively when necessary, keep the words that leaders often use to motivate the team at a minimum. Simplicity wins. Your aim is not to act as a leader, motivate as a leader or do things as a leader. Your aim is to lead. Authenticity is the key that opens all doors. The words you use need to pass the message that you are authentic. What they see is what you are, what you say is what you think. This builds trust and opens relations with each team member.
Be always elegant and respectful but be authentic in your use of words. Actually, a useful solution is that to pick a selected number of words from other jargons that have nothing to do with leadership, for instance teenager’s jargon, show business jargon and so on. Inserting these words in your daily language will slowly build a personalized jargon, which actually is not the leader’s typical jargon but is your team’s personal jargon. This creates a strong bond and highly motivates the team, because everybody is using a sort of private language almost unintelligible to others. For instance, in front of an unexpected issue you may need to do a ‘washing machine’ which means it is urgent to get together, brainstorm and bring some fresh idea to a procedure or to the project. This washing machine, as simple as it may seem, is instead a strong enhancer of the teamwork because the team is not pushed by an authoritarian and superior leader to do something but is urged by a collaborative leader to participate at something. The right mood brings the right solutions.
Mastering the language of leadership requires to follow some essential rules:

 Clear: the leader’s language aims at being clear, this means will not try to impress his team with special words but will address the team with words that are simple and clear;
 Incisive: use only essential words that get directly to the point. In case of doubt, the less is better;
 Respect: use only respectful words and do not talk excessively or imposing your point of view;
 Participate: everybody needs to come out of the discussion with the feeling they had the opportunity to say what they thought without fear and without limits;
 Listen: lend your ear, there is much to learn and discover, especially when you are a leader;
 Move: talking with a leader always ends up with action. As a leader with your team, you are not making friendly conversation, you are moving people to do things;
 Authentic: be yourself in what you think, in what you do, in what you say. Be yourself also in how you say it: don’t use the words of a leader, use your own words and they will become the words of the leader;
 Enthusiasm: no matter how hard the issue, no matter how big your doubt, no matter how uncharted the road you travel, you are the leader and you are the only one who can inspire the team and move them with your enthusiasm and passion for the project;
 Passion: always and constantly let others see and sense your passion for what you’re doing;
 Adapt: there is never the conclusive word for any situation, there is always the right word for the right situation. Adapt your thought and your words to the contingency of the situation;
 Thoughts: talk slower and take your time if necessary. You are expressing thoughts that should always have a depth and determine consequences, you are not expressing opinions.
 Story: keep it short and talk about you. A personal story makes you alive and activates relations;
 Body: arms always open and never crossed, hands always visible;
 Empower: don’t lose momentum through layers of opinions and confirmations, when a decision is taken empower who is necessary and make them go for it. Organize feedbacks to farther push to action;
 Trust: use the words ‘I trust you’ or ‘I can count on you’ they are powerful movers to action and make others want to show you what they can do at their best;
 Errors: words like ‘I got it wrong’ from a leader are powerful for the team and build strong relations and respect. A leader admitting an error is not a weak leader, on the contrary is a leader so strong and determined with the project that is able to move away his or her ego, is competent and has nothing to show, is able to work on the project without prejudice and available to change. All positive factors that reinforce the team;
 Words: take advantage of some basic construction suggestions. For instance, ‘Here’s something to think about’ is better than ‘Here’s what I want.’, ‘What do you think will work’ is better than ‘It’ll never happen.’, ‘How can I help’ better than ‘Just do as I say.’, ‘What do you think’ better than ‘Here’s how I see it.’, ‘Go for it’ is better than ‘We’ll see and decide with others’.
 Transparency: this is a strong motivator for the team, it shows the leader is competent, knows what he or she is doing and has nothing to hide. It also helps the team feel in control of the project keeping them committed to the project. Always be straightforward in communicating the truth by using such phrases as ‘Here’s what’s going on’. Be trustworthy and always require that others do the same with you, by telling you their thoughts or any other information they have regarding the project.
 Explore: it’s an essential part of any high-profile project. Always have an ear to the ground with regard to the team and to the project. Be open to discuss alternative roads, be open to take alternative roads.

Empathy and Emotional intelligence

While the first connection between the leader and the team is based on a purely instinctual component, the subsequent reinforcement of the ties depends on subjective factors, especially empathy and emotional intelligence. The reinforcement step is very important as it sets the quality of the relationship between leader and team, the group’s commitment and ultimately the performance on both sides of the relationship.
The reason I don’t like the word ‘follower’, but I prefer to use ‘team’ or ‘participants’ is because in fact there is no such thing as a follower with a high-profile leader. The leader actively transforms the chosen team by transferring them inspiration and knowledge and bringing them up to a level where they can operate independently from the leader. This is the most effective leadership and it draws high performance levels. Unfortunately, it requires a truly high leader, because only a very strong leader with a strong inspiration and control can afford to promote and actively teach the development of inner independency by the team. The team will feel the ownership of the project and eventually contend choices and decisions of the leader as to how to manage the project. A strong leader will always be recognized as such, even by an inspired team with knowledge. The separation between the leader and the team will always be there as everybody recognizes a sort of superior inspiration and robustness in the leader, a deep understanding of things that only the leader has, the capacity of the leader in difficult times to control and manage the unexpected, the certainty that the leader will reach the objectives no matter what. All these elements put the leader in a positively superior position and bring respect from the team, whose abilities, even though of high profile, still recognize the leader as the original inspirator of the project with a superior capacity to reach the target. In conclusion, the leader here is handing over inspiration and knowledge to the team because the leader’s strength, inspiration and respect affords him to do so. Such a team has a high performance because each individual is working supported by his or her own inspiration and believes in the project to the extent of making it a personal endeavor. This is the team which is available to work overtime when circumstances require but this is also the team that openly raises to contend a move of the leader, but again this is the team that constantly recognizes the leader’s charisma and inspiration and while contending a move for the sake of the project is also ready to shut up and give the last word to the leader, positively convinced that the leader has the final word because the leader knows better.
Growing up such a team requires considerable effort and management by the leader but ensures exceptional results. In my experience these have always been the best performing teams. And don’t forget that if you want to understand the quality of a leader at any level, often just look at the first level of people the leader chose to work with him or her and you will have a pretty clear idea.
Empathy is the projection of the self onto the others so that you can almost identify with the other’s feelings and thoughts in a sort of emotional communion. It is a deep understanding of the other and it requires a certain capacity of compassion and humanity. Empathy is typical of a high leader. Because the leader has gone through a number of experiences – investigating the self, understanding life and inspiration, fighting for a change, believing in a project – the leader usually has a broad empathic capacity. A leader missing this feature should be looked at with suspect. Empathy is used by the leader as a tool: firstly, to choose the team and secondly to understand the team (if the leader is not given the faculty to choose the team, then empathy is used to ‘change’ the team).
Empathy defines the bonding of the team, it is introduced by the leader who sets the example by demonstrating the worthiness of this attitude, and it should be used, at least to a certain extent, by each participant of the team. There will clearly be differing degrees of empathy in each member of the team or differing degrees of engagement to use empathy. Nonetheless an empathetic approach, in a high-profile team, should always be looked for and promoted.
Empathy takes us to emotional intelligence, a wider approach to the understanding of things and setting of relations. Emotional intelligence, broadly defined, is the ability to use not only reasoning or to follow known patterns in thinking but to involve also instinct and emotions in this process, thus expanding your knowledge and understanding of situations and hence extending opportunities and possibilities. There is a direct relation between emotional intelligence and leadership: the high leader uses intelligence and uses emotions to the same degree.
Intelligence comes from the Latin verb intelligere which means ‘reading inside things’, not only observing life and its innumerable phenomenon but also understanding life in all its aspects. Emotional intelligence is, in a way, a redundant concept as intelligence, being the reading and understanding of life, already encompasses the various aspects of life: an intelligent individual would never rely exclusively on reason to comprehend life but would obviously involve emotions and much more. ‘Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it’ said French philosopher Blaise Pascal. So, when we talk of emotional intelligence, we are basically saying that in our comprehension of life we are including emotions.
Emotional intelligence was defined, by researchers Peter Salovey and John Mayer, as ‘the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior’. This definition was then further split in perceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions. I tend to give much relevance to emotional intelligence, as long as it is considered part of the basic empathic behavior of an intelligent individual. Emotions should be accepted as a standard requirement in leadership.
Emotions should never be left out of an organization and a project. Technical proficiency should always be balanced with interpersonal competence and emotions. Additionally, it is only a strong emotional relationship that can develop higher leadership and team effectiveness and that can solidly withstand, and above all recover from, difficult times or failures that may be encountered during the various stages of a project.

Leadership and Communication

Communication is paramount for a leader. Good leaders have always been excellent communicators. In the previous chapter we touched the essentials of communication: we know that your personal leadership style, and accordingly your personal communication style, are the only possible models for leadership and communication, not because leadership is divine and unrepeatable but because leadership is uniquely individual and despite the many modern attempts to sell you styles and methods, it remains uniquely individual. Exactly like a beautiful love story cannot be repeated, a magnificent leadership story cannot be repeated. However, what makes a leader can be learned so that it will produce innumerable unique leadership stories.
Yet, once we have understood the leader’s higher approach to communication in which the leader basically has to communicate inspiration in order to create that deep trust and relationship that will eventually fully involve people in the leader’s vision, we can now observe what is leadership communication in an organization in the day to day running activity. Being communication such an important aspect of leadership, it is beneficial to dedicate some time to this level of detail. Communication is so important for an organization that I should dedicate an entire book only to this theme, but I will try to condense here a few principles.
A high level of communication in an organization is an advantage, both for internal processes and for external relations. Whatever the message, it passes clear and strong, whatever the brand, its identity and role are well defined. A high level of communication is an advantage also because it secures that the leader’s vision is clearly understood, discussed and shared, it tightens the bonds between leader and team, it accelerates the team’s ordinary activities and problem-solving processes and it facilitates the organization’s adaptation to constantly changing environments and situations on the way to the goal.
While communication was initially considered by many a soft skill, today communication skills are becoming a major criterion to evaluate a leader, starting from the hiring process. A leader with a high profile of communication skills is capable of motivating, inspiring and generating trust within the group. These three vital elements for an organization require from the leader both action and adaptation.
The adaptation effort of the leader requires constantly taking into account the emotions, the acumen and the knowledge level of the receiver in order to align the communication level to the receiver. Further effort requires the leader to constantly keep all doors open, no matter the communication or non-communication level of the receiver. The leader needs to learn to listen. Listening doesn’t mean simply giving time or words to the other, it should instead be considered a technique. Listening means letting the other understand that you are thoroughly following their approach and that you do not have preclusions or pre-judgements. Listening also means that you have time to take mental (or physical) notes of the relevant points arisen by the other, understand how the other structured his or her approach to the situation, and dedicate your answer not to the details but directly to the structure of the other’s reasoning. The listening process allows the leader to observe attitudes and behavior, ideals, anxieties of each member of the team, aligning the leader’s message accordingly. The adaptation effort by the leader relevantly contributes to building trust between leader and team.
The leader’s action is based on the information the leader acquired during the listening process and during the process of connecting the team to himself or herself and to the vision. By observing the team’s reaction to this ‘stimulating’ process, the leader can obtain relevant information regarding the team, their approach and competence.
The leader’s action consists in establishing and nurturing appropriate principles, discipline and develop a sense of belonging to the organization and responsibility toward the project. The leader’s tools here are trust and appropriate communication. A leader should never aim at communicating principles, responsibility or belonging as concepts. In fact, they should never even be mentioned. They are the natural consequence of a team tightly running toward a common objective. The leader aims at the final result, the vision and the action necessary to reach that target and the common effort to reach it.
The leader’s action requires controlling that the communication process is continuous, ensures the correct atmosphere to promote and facilitate understanding and constantly alternates both a formal and informal approach: while the formal approach is a slow process that regards planned moments of sharing of the information, the informal approach is a fast, direct approach that often brings to surface issues difficult to communicate in formal situations, both ways. The leader should always encourage and accept informal communication and, if possible, use his or her communication skills to convey the issues at a higher level in the formal communication.
The distinction between formal and informal communication, though still valid, is progressively phasing-out in favor of a unique, essentially direct, communication approach, which does not consider useful separating levels. This phasing-out is accelerated by new communication technologies. Institutions or Governments are slower than organizations to follow this change even though they are relying more often in new technologies and social sites, adopting accordingly their peculiar language. The language of communication technology and software tends to uniform everybody to this simplified and direct communication style, removing the formal/informal distinction.

Virtual teams’ communication
Virtual team are growing fast and spreading in organizations. Leadership of virtual teams should have a separate consideration. Virtual teams or organizations face particular challenges, the most relevant being in my view geographical, temporal, cultural and organizational challenges. It is clear that the leader cannot guide the team in the same way as a traditional group.
A virtual team has the advantage that members can be picked up anywhere in the world. Sometimes high-profile competencies have higher negotiation power with the organization and are less available to move. This in fact brings an advantage to the organization which, through a virtual team, is able to hire the best competency in the world and appoint a high-profile team, on the other hand the disadvantage for the organization is that the team ends up scattered around the world. This disadvantage can be transformed into an opportunity for the organization. The geographical challenge brings a temporal challenge which limits the team’s interaction opportunity to each individual’s time zone. These two challenges bring along the question of the availability of the leader: traditionally the leader should be available to the team and in regular contact. I don’t see any problem in these challenges since they can be compensated with a strong and enhanced focus on the objective and the charisma exerted by the leader. As for cultural diversity this is an issue that, for instance, top US organizations already addressed effectively and that can be further addressed by a leader supporting a strong organization, or project, identity. This develops a sense of belonging and recognition in all members of the team, potentially solving the cultural gap generated by a virtual team. The gap can also be addressed by a company policy that pushes for an enlarged multicultural team that definitely smooths out cultural diversity. Finally, organizational challenges should be addressed by the leader using his or her charisma and vision: the leader should project all team members towards the future and the objectives. This approach moves everybody’s focus in the appropriate direction, compensating organizational challenges. In conclusion, the reinforcement of relations through a stronger feeling of focus, a stronger project identity, a stronger sense of belonging and cultural inclusion, actually determine an advantage for the project and for the organization.

Communication is always interrelated to leadership and a leader should always have an open and fluid approach. Communication should always adapt to the intellectual level of the team but should consider this level is constantly changing – maturity of the team, ability to handle complex situations, understanding of the target and difficulties related to obtaining the target, ability to respond to emotional influences, dedication, reaction to new variables in the team’s balance, and so on – communication should adapt constantly and accordingly to the situation. Taking into account all the above, it is clear that one major skill of the leader is improvisation: it allows the leader to handle all the possible variables, expected and unexpected, that occur during the journey. Improvisation is a world in itself that requires high competency and knowledge of communication skills from the leader, coupled with self-confidence. A leader using appropriately improvisation is able to communicate with an authenticity that no other communication technique can reach, deeply involving all the team.
Leader’s confidence should be considered a major driving force in communication. The receiver immediately senses this and the foundations for an open and correct communication process are laid.


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Business communication is the process of sharing information between people within and outside a company. Effective business communication is how employees and management interact to reach organizational goals. Its purpose is to improve organizational practices and reduce errors. Effective communication affects processes, efficiency, and every layer of an organisation. Organizations with connected employees have a spike in productivity of up to 25%.

What makes the difference and what makes this event unique is that the speaker is an undisputable novelist internationally renowned. This event is an exclusive partnership developed by DMA Communication.