Leaders are continuously called upon to be great communicators. They must convey decisions, correct behavior, get people back on the same page…the list is endless.

There are two dimensions to effective communication: 1) the ability to say what needs to be said and 2) the ability to say things in a way that people can hear them. The first can be thought of as Frankness. The second can be thought of as Diplomacy.

If leaders lean too much on Frankness, they can come across as blunt. If leaders lean too much on Diplomacy they can come across as evasive.

Leaders need to blend both to be great communicators.

Is there something important that you need to communicate? Before you deliver it, consider how clear you are about what you want to say. Then figure out a way to say it so that people can receive it. There is a big difference between “sales are terrible” and “despite our best efforts, sales are terrible.”

Strive to be a better communicator. It is one of the best improvements a leader can make.