The 12 Verbal Communication Skills Managers and Leaders Absolutely Need To Develop

You can never get too good at communication. Never. And it’s an essential skill, one you must have to lead. ALL GREAT LEADERS HAVE STELLAR verbal COMMUNICATION SKILLS.

By Murray Johannsen. Feel free to connect via LinkedIn or directly from this website.

Types of Verbal Communication Skills One Can Learn

It’s a skill that sets you apart — you become the black swan in a white flock of managers. Besides that, verbal communication skills are managers’ most commonly used skill at work.

The Master List of learnable skills Leading To Effective Communication

There are twelve verbal communication skills you can LEARN through training and taking classes and coaching. Thirteen if you break out interviewing separately.

  • Two-Way Communication
  • Nonverbal
  • Relationship
  • Questions
  • Listening
  • Self-Talk
  • Cultural
  • Group Facilitation
  • Organizational
  • Persuasion
  • Feedback
  • Public Speaking

Why Invest in Improving Verbal Communication?

Investing in workplace communication skills makes sense because:

  • Good communication reduces conflict in the workplace. With the proper training for your employees, you can help your team prevent conflict.
  • Effective communication reduces misunderstanding. You have heard it before, “I want it ASAP!”. Now, what does as soon as possible mean? Drop everything and do it now? When you get finished with what you are doing?
  • Good verbal communication increases employee engagement. It’s been well-known for years that most corporations have low engagement numbers. A big complaint by workers goes, “My manager never listens to me.”
  • Good communication creates better relationships.
Edmund Leighton (1853–1922) Courtship. Upward and downward communication often has an associated difference in status, symbolized here as the difference between a worker (the ferryman) and the lady.

Word Magic: Develop 6 Hot Verbal Communication Skills

Verbal communication skills are still one of the most vital. it ranks high one what employers want in new hires. It’s also what few invest in. So one has a highly sought skill set that few people develop.

What Is Verbal Communication Anyway?

What is verbal communication? Seems like a simple question, but it’s not. But like all many skills, one is complicated. Most define it as, “The verbal transmission of meaning between a sender and a receiver.” Between these two, many things can go wrong due to communication barriers.

Leadership communication skills are valuable in influence and so most commonly occur in group settings.

White the interpersonal communication skill-set occurs between two people. However, it also includes self-talk — the moment-by-moment process wherein the Ego and the Unconscious attempt to communicate. As any therapist will tell you, this terribly flawed process needs improvement. 

I sometimes ask my students what the Ego communicates within the mind. Some get it. Most are confused and don’t know what to say. 

Six Interpersonal Communication Skills

Below is a list of six interpersonal communication skills and six leadership communication skills one really should learn.

8 Types of  Questions

Sometimes it’s not the answers that are important; it is asking the right questions. Skilled communicators know how to do well.

Switching From One To Two-Way Communication

One and two-say communication are not commonly understood. It typically gets lumped into interpersonal communication. When you understand that one-way communication normally leads to misunderstanding, you get a flavor for the importance of two people striving to engage in two-way communication.

Nonverbal Communication

A great deal of meaning is communicated nonverbally. It’s vital to pay attention to these nonverbal cues. For what’s unsaid is more important than what’s said sometimes. You want to “listen” to the silence.

Relationship Communication

Developing, maintaining, and repairing relationships sounds easy, but the communication skills required are subtle and elusive. After all, if you don’t like someone or don’t trust someone, communication will be strained, if it occurs at all.


You can train the mind to listen better. Find out the major channels you should tune into.

People think that the name of the game is monopolizing airtime. True, the person who talks little gets thought of as a follower. While the one who talks a lot is thought of as a leader. Still, even leaders need to listen.

Although we have two ears, we typically don’t use either one. After all, how many times have you heard that most common of complaints, the one that goes, “My manager doesn’t listen to me.”


Thoughts have energy. And we think all the time. Yet, we don’t monitor this. We pay them no mind. This is a fundamental mistake.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Group Communication For Leaders

Alexander the Great Founding Alexandria

Communicating to a group is clearly not the same as communicating with another individual. For not only do we spend a huge amount of time in group settings such as in meetings, conferences, and classes; but we also want to influence group members.

Cultural Communication

Just when you think you got communication down in one culture, you discover what you know doesn’t work in another. The savvy communicator understands how to adapt their behavior to consider cultural factors.

Group Roles Communication

In group settings, learning what communication roles people play is essential to facilitating group process. See the course at:

Organizational Communication

Give Yourself A Gift That Pays For Itself Many Times Over

Many screw-ups in organizational settings result from flawed communication. Job one of any good leader relates to setting up a robust communication system. 

The Skill of Persuasion

Can you get buy-in? Do you have the skill to get someone to act in their best interest and say yes? Do you realize that the most commonly used work in English is no? Welcome to the world of sales.

Providing Verbal Feedback

Negative feedback is necessary to improve, even though nobody likes it. But we really like positive feedback. But both are necessary since few people change without feedback.

Persuasive Presentations

There are many different ways to wow an audience. Learn the general methods you should use to learn how to make this type of presentation. See a description for the self-paced course


Interviewing consists of the interpersonal skills above. But it’s a common ritual used in business and government that one has to get good at it.  And you can get good at it if you understand how to take advantage of the bias found in the process. Best learn it.

As said by many profound sages in Buddhism and Mahatma (Great Soul)  Gandhi, one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century.

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 Verbal Communication Skills Research

It’s long known that top-of-the-line communication skills are fundamental to getting a job and advancing to positions of greater responsibility.

Below are two studies that reinforce this conclusion.

Research conducted by SHRM (the Society of Human Resource Management) & Mercer indicates it’s the soft skills you should invest in. And number one on the soft skill list — verbal and written communication skills.  

Despite Silicon Valley’s admonition that everyone needs to code and academia’s constant, never-ending harping about “critical thinking,” the American public has a more realistic view of what it takes to succeed. 

A Respected MIT Professor Said Your Success Will Be Determined By 3 Things. Here’s How to Get Better at Each of Them

Work Skills For the 21st Century