The Compelling Link Between Women, Communications and Leadership

“It’s better to be trusted than liked,” is a leadership mantra that I live by every day. Throughout my twenty-year career at Ketchum, I have worked hard to focus on modeling the expectations I have of others and inspiring team members to deliver “break through” results. Demonstrating my trust in others and empowering them to do their jobs has led to better team performance – creating a culture that supports this philosophy across Ketchum is what I aim to do.

I recently had the privilege of sharing communication tips for effective leadership with top women executives and communicators at a breakfast event for the Step Up Women’s Network in Chicago. The inspiration for the talk came from the third annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM). The KLCM research found women perform better than men in four of the most crucial traits for leaders, including: leading by example, communicating in an open and transparent way, admitting mistakes and bringing out the best in others. Additionally, the research shows an increasing desire for more “feminine” management styles across industries.

Too often, we apologize before we ask a question or present an idea. This habit discredits both our work and our authority. We know women are great leaders and our leadership style is desirable?, so one of the tips I shared with the women in the audience is to “have swagger.” By swagger, I mean demonstrated confidence. Walk into a room with confidence and be proud of the ideas you are presenting to establish credibility as not only a good communicator, but also as a leader.

Christine Andrukonis, SVP and Regional Director of North American for Ketchum Change, joined me to lead the audience through an exercise to create their own communication mantras. Some audience members shared their own inspirational mantra statements, including:

  • Explain my ideas, not myself.
  • Flex my communications and leadership style to meet my team members where they are.
  • Speak for impact.
  • Continue to mentor others and seek mentors for myself to build a strong coalition.

What will be your communication mantra? Share your ideas and comments below.

View the infographic below for all of our tips on using communications to be a more successful leader.