This is a word used to describe someone who has something to say, or thinks he does. At least, he or she has something they want other people to hear. When they speak, they are a ‘communicator’.

The Dictionary says that the word is a noun, an action word, and describes someone who in skilled in conveying information or ideas.

Other common words for a communicator may be informant, speaker, broadcaster or announcer. A communicator could also be seen as an alarmist, or a persuader or an affirmer. I suppose they could also be an author, a signer, a comforter, a respondent, or a presenter. I know one who is a gossiper and another who is a rambler. They come in all shapes and sizes.

But, here, in this space, we want to talk about leaders who are communicators. And, truth be told, there are some who are great and others who are terrible. All leaders have something they want or need to say, so how can we help you so people will hear and understand?

There you are…leader. You are called on to communicate, to be a communicator. The audience may be a large crowd or a small group. It may be donors giving money or staff spending money. You may have a message to both. It could be just one individual. Maybe even a child.

Let me tell you five differences between a great and a terrible communicator.

  1. A great communicator will speak in a language people understand. If they are speaking to children, they will use illustrations familiar to children. They will know their audience and speak so they understand. For them preparation is part of the excitement.

A terrible communicator expects the listener to make the necessary adjustments to understand. They speak to impress not to be understood. They just assume they are understood.

  1. A great communicator will also know that the only way you will know if they understand what you have said is to allow feedback or questions. If they don’t understand you, your communication is lost.

A terrible communicator will assume that everyone understands all that he said and will grow impatient if there appears to be people who ‘just don’t get it’.

  1. A great communicator will minimize the distractions. They know it doesn’t take much to distract a person’s mind and if their mind is distracted, the message is lost.

A terrible communicator will not even realize that he or she is competing for the person’s attention and thoughts, and will plow ahead thinking they are doing the job. Maybe something they are doing will even offer the distraction.

  1. A great communicator will make sure they say what they mean and mean what they say. They won’t ramble. They will prepare. They won’t confuse the listener with too many things at once. If it is important, they know that they need to say it clearly and simply.

A terrible communicator will keep talking and repeating until they run out of things to say. Then they will get frustrated when the people don’t understand or respond what was said.

  1. A great communicator will use a suitable voice for the occasion. They will try to reflect kindness and care. If it is bad or harsh news, they will be gentle and genuine. Looking the other person in the eye and leaving room for response.

A terrible communicator says what he came to say, perhaps even adding some anger if it is bad or harsh news, and immediately leaves to show authority.

If God has called you to be a communicator, be the best one you can be.

God, the author of communication, says a communicator should not be corrupt or dishonest. Their communication should be encouraging and edifying. (Ephesians 4:29)

God also said that the words of our mouth and the thoughts behind them should be acceptable to God (Psalm 19:14), and, that a good communicator is like a golden apple (Proverbs 25:11)




Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Organizational Development, Personal Leadership Tagged with: , , ,


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