4 Traits of Good Communication Often Ignored by Bad Leaders

And how good leaders communicate better

N. K. Carlson
Feb 16 · 4 min read
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Good leaders know that good communication is key to a successful organization. They see communication as invaluable for creating a good workplace culture.

Perhaps the greatest flaw of bad leaders is bad communication. Bad communication de-motivates employees and halts productivity. Good leaders seek to communicate well first and foremost because they care about the people under them. Below are four ways that good leaders communicate as well as a discussion of how bad leaders fail in those areas.


A good leader knows how much information they can share in each situation. They withhold information when it is necessary, such as when confidentiality is important. They avoid speculating and over-promising. But they also don’t withhold information just to withhold it. A good leader is not obsessed with building power and therefore they don’t use information as a tool of power.


On the other hand, a good leader cares about people and takes others’ feelings into account. This shows itself most when communicating bad news. A good leader will communicate bad news gently and with great compassion. A good leader acknowledges when a situation is bad. Most importantly, a good leader communicates bad news in a way where employees leave the conversation knowing the leader cares about them.

Answers Questions

A good leader welcomes questions and answers each one, even if that answer is, “I’m sorry, I am unable to answer that question due to confidentiality.” A good leader wants more information available rather than less. A good leader wants to foster understanding when decisions are made. A good leader will help their employees understand through questions and answers. A good leader has nothing to hide about how a decision is made and why.


A good leader will communicate clearly in as few words as possible because they know that many words often bring more fog than clarity. A good leader is direct. Listening is also a sign of good communication. A good communicator listens to concerns rather than monopolizing the conversation so they can better address those concerns. Good communicators and leaders know that face-to-face conversation is usually the best way to communicate, especially when communicating bad news. A good leader knows what medium of communication is appropriate. For massive changes or bad news, face-to-face is best. For small, everyday details, email is best. Good leaders choose the proper medium so that clarity can be maximized.

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N. K. Carlson

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Author. I write about self publishing, creativity, religion, leadership, books + fiction & poetry. Subscribe to my email list: http://eepurl.com/gPIFRT

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +611K people. Follow to join our community.

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