Tag Archives: leadership communication

Words in Emails

Words in Emails

Survey after survey shows that leaders consider themselves excellent communicators.  Survey after survey shows that employees think leaders need to be better communicators.  That creates a problem because there is a definite link between effective leadership and effective communication.  There are many different communication channels, email being one of the more common.


I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with email.  It’s quick and easy, provides flexibility and convenience, and is readily accepted.  There are times when other channels of communication, like face-to-face communication or simply picking up the phone and placing a call, might work better, but email remains quite popular.  If you are like me, you have experienced a well written email (at least I thought it was well written) being totally misinterpreted.  Have you experienced that?

Those misinterpreted emails are why Gisela Hausman caught my attention with her book “Naked Words:  The Effective 157-Word Email.”  Hausman offers advice on effective email communication that everyone can use.  For example, an email needs to be short, but not too short, to allow recipients to quickly grasp the message.  Other tips Hausman offers include:

  • Enter your name above your signature line. That shows you took a little time to personalize your message.
  • End your email in a way that fits the message (Thanks! Thank you!  Hope this is helpful!  Let me know your thoughts. Etc.)
  • Take your time, particularly for important emails. Incubate on your response, re-read, see how you can improve your message.
  • Read your email aloud to yourself. Make it sound the same as if you were having a short in-person meeting.
  • Always use the recipient’s name in the greeting.

Effective leaders are effective communicators regardless of the communication channel being utilized.  Email communication is very prevalent today and writing effective email is a skill every leader needs.  Effective leaders are always evolving, always improving their communication skills.

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Words = Power = Revenue

Words = Power = Revenue

By Bill Auxier, Ph.D.

What can I say?  I’m an Abraham Lincoln geek!  Abraham Lincoln is one of my heroes.  From as early as I can remember, I have always held Honest Abe in high esteem.  Not only did I grow up in the “Land of Lincoln,” I have read numerous books about him and have visited his birthplace in Kentucky, the homestead where he grew up in Indiana, New Salem, IL, where he lived as a young man, his home in Springfield, IL, the bed where he died across the street from the Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C., and other Lincoln landmarks.  Abraham Lincoln—the life he led, the man he was, the things he accomplished and the words he spoke are all sources of inspiration.  Lincoln’s oratory skill is something I aspire to.  His words carried great power during his life and still do to this day.

In 1858, a series of seven debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place around the state of Illinois.  At the time, U.S. senators were elected by the state legislature.  Lincoln and Douglas were attempting to help their respective parties win control over the Illinois legislature which in turn would determine which one of them would become the next U.S. senator for Illinois.  The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face when he became president in 1860.  The primary issue of all the debates was slavery.

Large crowds gathered to hear the debates as slavery was such an important topic of the times.  Newspaper coverage was intense and articles were reprinted in newspapers across the nation.  Lincoln ended up losing his bid to the senate, and later edited the texts of all the debates and published them in a book.  The widespread coverage of the debates and popularity of the book helped Lincoln receive the nomination for President of the United States in 1860 which led to his becoming President.


The very first Lincoln-Douglas debate took place in Ottawa, IL, on August 21, 1858, at 2:00 pm.  It just so happened that I was in Ottawa, IL, last week on August 21, and I went to the town square around 2:00 in the afternoon where that first debate is memorialized with a statue.  It was incredible to stand there and to absorb the history on the same date and time it took place 156 years ago.

Abraham Lincoln provides us with a great example of leadership and the power of words.

Leadership communication can influence others with impact.  Adam Grant, Ph.D., at the Wharton School of Business, examined that impact by having the leader of a company give a motivational speech to a team of new employees at one of the company’s call centers.  What happened?  Afterwards, revenue at that call center had a nice increase, 300% to be exact, as compared to a control group that didn’t hear the speech.  Now that’s an impact!  Words to have power!  Many companies would be very satisfied with this result, but wait, there’s more!

A team hearing a message from the leader AND a beneficiary of the work being done at the company increased revenue by a whopping 700%!   Leadership communication can be highly effective, and hearing a similar message from someone who has been authentically affected and benefited from the content of the leader’s message puts that leadership communication effectiveness on steroids.  Leadership effectiveness through effective communication includes finding a beneficiary to help your message echo through the halls of your organization for greater revenue and greater success.  After all, who better to share your message than a person who has benefited from it?

All great leaders need to be great orators.  Lincoln’s oratory skills led him to become the 16th President of the United States and a President who had a tremendous impact on shaping our country’s history.  This wouldn’t have been possible if not for his effective and compelling communication skills.  Likewise, today’s leaders need to be effective communicators to spread their message and motivate their teams to have a positive impact on the world.

What is your message?  Who is your beneficiary who can help echo that message?  Once you know the answers to those questions, in collaboration with that beneficiary, you can deliver a powerful message with a huge impact!

Words = Power = Revenue


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