top of page

What communication skills do you need to lead a team?

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

by Stephanie Bickel

leadership communication skills

Communication coaching for executives and managers continues to be the best way to enhance team leadership and management. Anyone can develop the skills to lead a team.

The top management communication skills to master are:

1. How to communicate a clear team vision and measurable result

Your team should be able to articulate the vision and the results you seek as clearly as you can. This should be said over and over to them. This is the foundation for good effective delegation.

2. How to communicate clear communication norms and expectations

Everyone should be actively involved on calls. No silent participation. In our communication coaching for executives, we teach them to withhold their recommendations until the end of the meeting. This helps the team feel more empowered and a greater sense of ownership around the problems.

3. How to communicate your trust in them

The team needs regular reinforcement that you trust their decisions and actions. Be explicit about what you need to review and what do you not need to review. In our communication coaching with executives, we practice delegation communication. What exactly do you say to delegate a task? Delegation communication in management and leadership must be clear and compelling. You want to attract those most motivated and skills to take advantage of the greatest challenges and opportunities.

4. How to communicate the expectations of speed and quality

Most expert hires have some fear of failing. In our communication coaching with executives, we work on how they manage their disappointment. Managers and leaders will be disappointed by their teams. Your people will not read your mind. They will do things their way and not your way. It is part of their growth journey to try and fail. Of course, you want to rescue, but if you rescue all the time and micro manage them, you are limiting their future success and YOUR OWN.

5. How to communicate your role as their helper

You also do not want your teams hiding their problems from you. You want to be able to handle bad news. The first time on your team comes to you with a problem is a test. If you are not easy to speak to, they will not come to you as easily again. Control your emotions and compliment them for coming to you with this. If you have the other problem, where people are complaining, blaming, and making excuses, try asking them calmly: "well, what are you going to do about this?" Do not participate in complaining, blaming, and excuse-making.

Communication in management and leadership are slightly different and you should work on both skills to lead a team effectively.

Management communication skills for executives focus on articulating clear timelines, scope, roles and responsibilities, and protocols for escalating issues.

Leadership communication skills for executives focus on articulating a vision, increasing workforce motivation, communicating clarity through uncertain times, and coaching others for greatness.

Leadership communication coaching for executives also focuses on how you communicate the picture of the future to board, investors, and the public.


Great leaders and speakers start with Speak by Design. Learn the techniques and build the skills with us. Speak by Design University is the only leadership communication program in the world that gives you access to self-paced learning, group coaching and training and, most importantly, private one-on-one coaching. Learn more and register.


bottom of page