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Leadership Communication Training: Expectations v. Reality

by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Smart CEOs, managers, and leaders are relentless in improving their team’s communication skills because they understand the value of strong team communication including higher productivity, higher profitability, and reduced stress. 

With these expected outcomes in mind, leaders everywhere seek effective leadership communication training

Leadership communication is a skill set that can be learned, but it requires time and effort to develop effective management communication training programs for your team members. 

Unfortunately, few leaders really get what they are looking for out of communication training. Why? They do not have the right expectations, and the training is often too broad or too general to be meaningful.

This article will explain some common misconceptions about leadership communication that impact people’s ability to get the training they genuinely need.

Expectation 1: Communication is about “feelings,” not numbers.

Reality: The foundation of getting to the heart of improving communication in your team should be both head and heart. Both are essential and it is particularly important to adopt a strategy that is as quantifiable as possible.

The key is to use assessment tools that help accurately capture your current talent, systems, and culture state. This can be accomplished through psychometric assessments, surveys and observation. 

Another way to think about this is ‘what gets measured, gets improved.’

The objective should be to take what feels like a subjective matter and make it as data-driven as possible (objectify the subjective).

Effective leadership communication training reflects a the quality of quantification. Our experience suggests that powerful assessment tools like the TriMetrixHD Assessment are essential. 

If you do not have an effective way to measure the success or outcomes of your training and development, run.

Expectation 2: Improving communication means reducing conflict.

Reality: Accountability and increased transparency, not “niceties,” will improve your communication.

It is important to note that people are not motivated by praise alone but rather through a system of clear expectations and standards. They expect everyone to be held to the same.

Leadership communication training can provide you with the necessary tools to create and enforce these systems appropriately, so your team is driven to perform at their best level. 

Every business needs accountability in the workplace to protect and motivate the team and drive results.

When problems occur, teams should find the source of a problem and figure out how to fix it, egos aside.

Accountability involves conversations that may feel like “conflict,” to some, but you can have these conversations productively with the correct frameworks in place.

Seek out leadership communication training that encourages accountability and transparency.

Expectation 3: You have the problem pinpointed exactly.

Reality: There are blind spots that you are not privy to that create gaps between your vision of your business and your team’s potential to reach it.

When a communication problem is persistent and glaring with a particular employee or Client, it can provide a false sense of security to know that a communication problem is contained to that one person, area, or cause. 

You may seek out leadership communication training to resolve that one issue and move on.

However, often, singular problems are representative of more significant issues or blind spots that leaders must address.

In order to truly understand the communication dysfunctions that exist that prevent your team from performing, you must be objectively-thorough in your evaluation of the status quo. This is near impossible to do without outside guidance. 

The proper training methodology will help you assess, diagnose, and coach your way through organization-wide communication issues. 

Look for a training and development solution that is data-driven in fully understanding the status quo.

Expectation 4: A degree or certificate completed by one or two team members can appropriately equip you to solve communication challenges.

Reality: Degrees and certificates only address one person, whereas you want to address your entire team and ultimately, culture.

Communication dysfunction is a big issue in organizations and it is difficult to quantify. You cannot solve dysfunction on an individual basis.

Dysfunction costs companies incredible amounts of lost revenue, wasted time, poor morale, and unnecessary turnover.

The most impactful leadership communication training will have a team component, full stop. Since each organization and individual are unique, organizations must customize training to meet the needs of that team. 

The best way to implement communication “training” is through a combination of assessments, customized workshops, and role-definition that focuses on transparency and outcomes. 

When looking for a leadership communication training solution, look for one that focuses not on just a particular individual but the entire team and organization.


When completing your due diligence on leadership communication training, look for data-based programs that are heavy on accountability, all-encompassing, and focused on the team, not the individual.

Failure to do so may result in a short-term feel good, but will eventually translate into wasted time, energy and resources as well as a impact to your reputation. 

Schedule a consultation today if you are ready to take a hard look at improving your team's leadership communication and get the training your team needs to succeed.