Leaders Speak Wisely ...

Leaders Speak Wisely . . .

 When hearing “social media” most think of things such as e-mail, texts, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Podcasts. But a recent on-line article by “60 Second Marketer” listed the top 52 social media venues for marketing.

What, 52? I had no idea there were that many. And, when it comes to communication, that top 52 does not include television, radio, newspapers, magazines, letters, speeches, or just a nice chat over coffee. There is no doubt that we are inundated with communication!

So, as we here at St. Francis College Prep teach our students about the direct connection between leadership and good communication we recognize that there are a couple of communication particulars often overlooked, and these apply to all venues of communication.

The first particular is simply this: just because you can say something, does not mean you should say something.

Plato said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

We all know someone who just has to have the last word. Why? It is simple. It is because their focus is foolishly on themselves, not on others. They just have to say something to be heard. It is the opposite of good communication. It is the opposite of leadership.

And, the second particular is this: But, if you do find that you have to say something, then say it well.

Mark Twain — a master of the English language — remarked, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

Oh, how true that is. Many times in our haste or lack of sensitivity towards others we choose to “strike” with our words, when all we needed to do was “illuminate” something with them.

A “right” statement made in the “wrong” way always leads to grief in some way.

In recognizing these particulars, we will teach our students two very important aspects of good communication and leadership:

First, true leaders are wise enough to know when to speak and when not to speak; and

Second, true leaders use wisdom in choosing the words with which they speak.

In short, leaders speak wisely.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11