reciprocal communicationCommunication is essential in any position of leadership. It could be argued that effective communication is the main task of a leader. Yet that communication must go two ways: the ability to speak clearly and the ability to listen well. Here we’re defining reciprocal communication as the ability to clearly transmit your message and take other people’s responses into consideration. It looks at how clearly individuals communicate, as well as the value they place on feedback.

If we think about it, God has established prayer as a reciprocal form of communication. We are to pray and ask. We are to pray and listen. And God, for his part, both speaks and listens. God, as the ultimate effective leader, listens to his people and empathizes with them:

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Exodus 3:7-8)  

Likewise, effective communication between people goes both ways. We speak and we listen. Only by communicating clearly to those we lead, and by listening to their concerns, can we lead well. Healthy communication, for God, for leaders, and for all of us, is reciprocal communication.

What assessments might you be able to take to assess your level of reciprocal communication and to determine your growth points? The Communication Effectiveness Profile can help. You might also be interesting in checking out the Effective Communication Coaching Guide and Storyboard.

During this series of blog entries, we’re walking through the 8 characteristics highlighted in the Leadership Effectiveness Profile. These characteristics were found through observation and research in response to the question, “What makes an effective leader?”