On 20th February, EAE’s Barcelona Campus was the venue for a new session of the Focused Programs run by Fátima Vila, a lecturer on the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management and the Master in Corporate Communication Management. Entitled “Communication as a key skill for leadership”, the presenter discussed the importance of leadership and good communication in society.
In Fátima’s opinion, what sets a good leader apart is that they take the initiative, embrace modern times, generate trust and respect, dare to innovate, manage their emotions and transform reality. In addition, of course, they “know how to communicate all these values”.
Without communication, a leader becomes invisible because, as well as the actions they take, they have to show, demonstrate and inform others about these actions. Fátima went on to ask how we can achieve this in a hyper-connected world, shaped by the internet, social media and 4.0 technology? In this case, in other words, leadership becomes more dispersed and complicated. Fátima Vila explained the different kinds of leadership style, starting with strategic leadership, which is “a pragmatic, results-oriented approach, with a mission strategy, vision and values”, executive leadership, which “concentrates on tasks and action”, and social or ethical leadership, which “focuses on people and appeals to their feelings”. Last but not least, the approach that requires most time and energy in terms of communication is emotional leadership.
In this respect, she gave a number of examples, such as the case of the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, as a quintessential emotional leader, because he exploited the rhetoric message “Yes, we can”, he appeared approachable and could identify with others, he did not renounce the archetypes of his system, he used his sense of humour, had a firm grasp of non-verbal communication and effectively managed the online sphere with continuous tweets on his Twitter account.
In terms of applying persuasive communication to leadership, the lecturer emphasized that it is crucial to integrate leadership rhetoric within the discourse. According to Fátima, the Logos leader (based on logic) has the capacity to grab and hold attention, present with clarity and support their arguments with data. They establish contact, link anecdotes and sow controversies. Meanwhile, the Ethos leader (focused on credibility), has credibility and references, offering experience, confidence and knowledge.
In turn, the Pathos leader (based on emotion, as in the case of Obama), leads ethically, empathizing, listening and demonstrating. They have the capacity lead from the basis of responsibility. They are agents of change, with commitment and passion. They empathize when listening. They respond and identify with the person. They listen attentively, show consideration, displaying patience and humility.