Workplace Communication for Leaders

When emotions are high, logic can fail

Employees at all levels from entry to C-suite are human, and humans have emotions. When those emotions become high in the workplace, this can spark poor workplace communication that spirals into personal attacks. Many of us aren’t taught the skills of effective persuasive communication, and this problem stems from our failure to teach a language that isn’t rooted in legal terminology.

We know communication is equal parts speaking and listening. When you are the speaker, remember the following:


We sometimes let emotions dictate our communication. Other times, we forget the humanity of others which can lead to harsh situations. When we forget the humanity of others, the result is the use of imprecise language which increases confusion and frustration.


Learn what motivates you and tell others. Care enough to learn what motivates others and honor their style. Doing this increases self-awareness and social-awareness, and sends a strong message about your commitment to clarity.


Clearer communication results in decreased drama.

Clear communication is kind communication

But it’s only one half of what it means to communicate. When emotions and tensions are high, we can forget that we need to listen out of fear we won’t be heard. The next time you find yourself in a high emotion situation, take a breath and try remembering:


Too often, we tell ourselves “stories” to explain what has been said to us. Be cognizant of the dangers of the ladder of inference (observation to assumption to conclusion to belief).


People often say things because of their own reality, not to purposely hurt or anger the listener. Beware of the temptation to add information that isn’t really there.


Giving the benefit of the doubt allows you to extend grace to others…and to yourself.

Additional Resources for Workplace Communication

Whether you're an HR professional, a people manager, or a leader committed to driving positive change, our Mastering Workplace Investigations course is designed to empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to create long-standing, effective paradigm shifts in today's complex workplace environment.

Enroll in our free course preview:

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About PersuasionPoint

Patti Perez is founder and CEO of PersuasionPoint, a modern-day consulting firm dedicated to teaching leaders and teams how to create and sustain healthy, equitable and inclusive workplace cultures. Patti is the best-selling, award-winning author of The Drama-Free Workplace (Wiley 2019), and draws from the book’s themes to provide practical, authentic, and action-oriented solutions to help companies achieve true diversity and equity, and to create environments of belonging and inclusion.

Patti and the team provide services specifically tailored to address workplace struggles with recruiting, retaining, promoting and fully valuing diverse employees – including consulting, leadership training, and boot camps for diverse attorneys who are emerging leaders.

Contact Patti here or email her directly at

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