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Leadership And Communication ‒ How To Inspire And Motivate Your Team

Written by: Sally Higoe, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Communication is largely considered to be the backbone of an organisation. However, people have distinctive communication styles shaped by dynamics like culture, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, and class. Therefore, as the world progressively leans towards diversity, it is obvious that we are likely to suffer communication breakdown and misunderstanding.

Without a smooth flow of communication, a company is likely to falter in its productivity. Your team’s morale is likely to go down due to poor communication. Miscommunication also ignites unnecessary conflicts in an organisation.

The first step towards ensuring your business has effective communication is looking at the various styles and types of communication and then settling on the best communication model. You need to assess your employees, find out their communication styles, meet halfway, and work towards building a uniform communication model across the organisation.

Many businesses go to great, expensive lengths to conduct assessments. However, to easily assess people’s communication styles, you can use the Extended DISC assessment.

One of the most useful Extended DISC assessments is the individual behavioural assessment that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. It can measure at a deeper unconscious level to exclude the impact of the current environment in which your team are experiencing.

Regarding your organisation’s communication style, the Extended DISC assessment system will help you to:

  • Understand your team members’ differences and develop a uniform communication model

  • Develop your organisation’s communication culture

  • Follow up on your team members’ communication performance

  • Reduce the effects of poor communication like conflict and turnovers

A leader must adjust their communication style to meet their team members’ style and thus motivate, inspire, and effectively complete tasks to the best possible outcome. You need to understand two basic perspectives of communication: style and types of communication.

There are four basic styles of communication:

  • Passive communication ‒ passive communicators keep it all to themselves and avoid expressing their grievances or giving their opinions.

  • Aggressive communication ‒ aggressive communicators are more radical and domineering in expressing their opinions and may infringe on other people’s rights.

  • Passive-aggressive communication involves expressing negative feelings indirectly, mostly appearing passive on the outside but very aggressive on the inside. Passive-aggressive communicators are likely to use body language to communicate.

  • Assertive communication ‒ assertive communicators express their feelings clearly and directly while respecting other people’s feelings and opinions.

As a leader, you should adjust towards being an assertive communicator. Assertive communication is respectful and dictates that you should be a good listener, respect other people’s opinions and feelings, and be authentic. An organisation with assertive communicators is a critical-thinking and problem-solving organisation. For example, by using assertive communication, you are inclined to listen to and articulate opinions better and agree on what helps the organisation achieve the common goal. Consequently, assertive communication will encourage teamwork and create strong bonds among members.

Communication is also divided into five types:

  • Verbal ‒ transmitted via word of mouth

  • Non-verbal ‒ body language, eye contact, and touch

  • Written ‒ emails, letters, texts

  • Visual communication ‒ photographs, graphs

As a leader, it is important to understand that your team members may individually prefer different communication types. For example, some members may prefer a presentation of graphs and videos rather than long meetings or emails.

Generally, to adjust your communication style to your team members’ style, you may need to do the following:

  • Use a variety of communication styles, for example, the same message in meetings, emails, and slide presentations. This will help you accommodate every team member.

  • Reach a consensus with your team members. You may agree to negotiate with your team members and decide what is best for the business. You may forego your personal preferences and improve your decoding skills, for example, forgoing verbal communication as your personal preference and having to improve on coding and decoding graphs.

  • Be courteous. Like in assertive communication, you need to respect other people’s opinions.

  • Listen to feedback. You should listen to what your team members say about your mode of communication, what they prefer, and what you should change.

  • Train your team members on the contemporary styles of communication that are mandatory. For example, using PowerPoint presentations and videos in meetings should not be a problem for a team member in organisations where it is considered standard.


Organisations are increasingly becoming diverse, and it is important to have well-defined communication models. Team members and leaders should use a uniform communication model to facilitate smooth communication. As a leader, ensure you use the communication style you want the rest of your staff to use. It is advisable to use assertive communication and bargain on the best communication from verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual communication or use combinations.

If you’d like to chat about this further and understand more about Extended DISC assessments, reach out and email me, I love to have a chat to support and inspire leaders on how they can best serve their team whilst being true to themselves, and then work out the best way that you can do that. Being trained and qualified in both individual and team assessments places me in the perfect place to assist you to create the right path and hold your assessments should you wish.

Follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and visit my website for more info!


Sally Higoe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sally is uniquely world-experienced in building resilience, emotional fitness, and quality sustainable practices in leadership. Her experience across multiple countries leading high-performing teams in high-pressure outlying remote environments has amplified her ability to know what it takes to connect a conscious leader to their team, with outstanding results.

Having spent decades on diverse projects in every climate imaginable, Sally discovered the critical aspects of authentic leadership and team alignment. She has now blended research-based, proven methodology with her pragmatic approach and ability to 'be herself' to create the transformative Align & Shine program. There, she guides formerly flustered, confused, and internally insecure leaders, to tap into their true classic selves, without the need to conform to outside pressures, helping them become bold, present, courageous, and energized leaders who genuinely connect with their team AND their business.

Sally is co-author of Resilience in Leadership, Pt 1 of the book series, leader of both community and international hardship projects, and accredited in scientifically proven Human Behavioural Profiling and Meta Dynamics ' thinking-based methodology, adding to her Practitioner of Coaching credentials.

Most importantly though, Sally, Founder of Team Resilience Method, is now on a mission to show striving leaders how to shine, gain clarity and create a ripple of positive change, from the inside out.



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