Unlocking Your Leadership Puzzle: Celebrate Your Distinctive Role and Create a Powerful Legacy

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How many languages do you think you could name if you tried?

If you’re like most of the world, then you speak at least two languages – so, there’s two right there. Maybe you are exceptional and you speak four or five languages. Then, you could probably name 15 or 20 beyond that – but surely not 50 languages, just off the top of your head?

In that case, it might surprise you to know that today, there are more than 7,100 languages being spoken throughout the world – 7,117, to be exact!

Some of them share alphabets; some have the same parent language; some of them borrow words from each other… but despite their common elements, they are distinct from each other. They have their own rules of grammar, their own vocabulary… They have their own sound and their own subculture that those who do not speak it will not understand.

For me, it is hard to visualize – 7,117 unique ways of communicating, separating people and bringing them together based only on who has had the wherewithal to learn them.

Of course, you and I both know that if we don’t speak someone’s language, effective communication is essentially impossible. But even if we are speaking their language, effective communication is not a guarantee.

You see, much like how people speak in national languages like Chinese, German, or English, they are also using a style of communication as they speak with and relate to others. It goes much deeper than the words they use – we see it in their temperament, their habits, their attitudes toward others…

…the direct, ambitious individual who often jumps to spearhead projects, but sometimes leaves colleagues feeling left behind…

…the extroverted one who’s everyone’s friend, but may not be as focused on results…

…the quiet one who diligently supports their coworkers, but might hesitate to offer their input in meetings…

…the hardline enforcer who’s great at their job and contributes to structure, but might be a bit high-strung…

…all valid, and even necessary, especially in the workplace. Nothing would get done if we all thought and behaved the same.

But these diverse communication styles can create health, or havoc – depending on the leader’s understanding of them.

And how much more this is true for today’s environment of diversity & inclusion. Teams are more multicultural and more diverse than ever. And this can be a team’s greatest strength or its most intimate weakness.

Dr. John Maxwell, one of the world’s foremost experts on leadership and communication, famously says, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” He reminds leaders that connection facilitates influence – and influence is all that leadership is. Connection is the currency of leadership.

And in one of his bestselling books on connection, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John writes,

“Connectors connect on common ground.”

In other words, when leaders want to truly lead their people to success – not just manage them for maintenance – they must understand the interplay between different communication styles and how to leverage them for the team’s benefit!

This is why I love assessment tools like the Maxwell Communication Impact Assessment. Tools like this have made it so much easier for leaders like myself not only to understand the dynamics of these communication styles, but our own style as well — so that we can start by leading ourselves.

Even if you choose not to use a Maxwell Communication Impact Assessment, you can read up on the main communication styles and how to approach them on page 9 of my report here – you and your teams will be glad you did! That’s all for now.

That’s all for now!

Become your best version,


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