Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: Sharpening Your Communication Skills, Part 2


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Thank you for joining the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast! In part one of "Sharpening Your Communication Skills," we talked about a few ways to become a better communicator. Today, let’s talk about the hats you wear as a communicator. For me, I might be a dad, or a husband, and a pastor. Some others are leader, coach, counselor, friend, mentor, man, student, Jesus follower, and fellow struggler. Choose your hats wisely. The hat you choose helps determine the emotion people feel.

When I’m leading or teaching, I want to make sure the hats I wear match the purpose of the event. If I want people to attend a parenting class, I might wear my pastor hat, or speak as one parent to another, or I might position myself as a student who wants to learn. When I have a difficult conversation with a team member, I can wear a mentor hat, a friend hat, or a leader hat. A different hat changes the tone, the feel, the mood, and potentially the response.

We have four communication languages:

  1. Appearance. Match your outfit to the message. Don’t dress down for a big pitch to raise capital with potential investors! If you’re trying to remain casual and approachable, though, dressing down helps.
  2. Body Language. Grab their attention with authority and confidence. Speak appropriately for the size of the crowd. Move, don’t pace. Make your hands work for you, not against you. Think through non-verbal communication until it becomes natural. If you can, watch for distracting body language on a video recording.
  3. Words. Tell them what you are going to tell them—and deliver. Work on clean transitions. Create moments when you can, and allow moments to happen. Speak clearly and repeat often.
  4. Emotions. Change your tone and pace of speaking. Use facial expressions. Grab or re-grab attention. Help them feel and let them laugh.

If you are cocky, they won’t like or trust you, but if you are confident and humble, they will love and embrace you. Humanity connects. Godliness inspires. The single greatest thing you can do to win the crowd is to be yourself. The two most important qualities any communicator needs are confidence and humility. We may impress people with our strengths, but we connect through our weaknesses.

If you’re dorky, don’t try to be cool. If you’re pushing 50, don’t try to act 22. And if you’re 22, don’t be freaked out that you’re young!

Remember, you don’t have to know it all to be a great leader! Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right.


Here's an exercise you can do to grow as a leader—ask your team these questions:

  1. What hats do you wear? How can you better utilize your different roles to achieve better results?
  2. In your communication, do you need more confidence or humility? What will you do to improve in that area?
  3. What specific area do you need to work on in your communication?


"How can I help two [highly driven, results-producing] people who are very different work better together and become unified around building the organization together?" – Tim

This is a problem, but it’s better than having two passive and unproductive people who can’t work together. Most leaders don’t keep their star players together. Time together increases chemistry and effectiveness! What’s important here is keeping the mission central—the only win is an organizational win. We don’t win as individuals, we win as a team. No matter what, don’t tolerate internal competition. When there are two talented players, they often compete. Instead, add another superstar. When there are three or more, they start to sense they are part of something special.

"What are some leading questions I can use to guide myself and lead my team in developing a powerful, purposeful declaration statement?" Taralee

Some of the most effective leaders I know make morning declarations. It’s a reminder of who we are, what’s important, and what we are called to do. Here are a few of my morning declarations:

  • I develop leaders. That’s not something I do. It’s who I am.
  • I wake up with purpose, direction, and meaning every day of my life.
  • I bring my best and then some. It’s what I bring after I do my best that makes the difference.  The world will be different and better because I served Jesus today.

Ask yourself some questions. "Where am I most vulnerable?" "Where am I strongest?" "What do I value most?" "What motivates me and creates movement?" Write the answers down. Start encouraging yourself.

Have a question for Craig? Email him at leadership@life.church.