Module 2: Communication


Module 2 from the Campaign School for Women Participant Workbook

The ability to communicate effectively is a significant asset to a political leader, but this doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to be a great speaker.  There are many examples of good leaders who are not necessarily great speakers.

Our communication style can be defined in several ways.  Some styles may be defined according to a preference of introversion (think-speak-think) compared to extraversion (speak-think-speak).  Some of our communication style may also be found on the spectrum between being passive or being aggressive, or somewhere in-between.

It is important to recognize how communication occurs.  A sender uses words and symbols to put forth information into a message for the receiver—the individual(s) receiving the message. Messages are then received and decoded or interpreted by the receiver.  If your intended message is not being received as intended, it may be helpful to explore the possible barriers that may be obscuring your intent. There are both Enviromental and Emotional barriers to communication.

As an elected official, it’s important to have the confidence to think on your feet and in the moment. However, it’s advisable to hold back your initial thoughts and ideas on issues that may appear to be controversial or divisive until you’ve done your homework on all sides of an issue.  Having time to prepare your position so that you can clearly communicate your underlying interests is a beneficial approach to clear and effective communication.