Essay on Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership - Essay Prowess

Essay on Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership

Essay on Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership


Money makes the world go round. How do we make it turn in our favour? In this report we shall explore professional communication principles and skills that may assist readers in navigating the working world. This report will cover concepts of negotiation strategies, non-verbal messages and job interviewing. These tips and tricks are sure to come in handy no matter your trade.

Negotiation Strategies

A negotiation strategy is the general stance taken when exchanging propositions and counter proposals with another party, with the aim of reaching a common ground regarding a conflict.


In this context a paradigm refers to a way of thinking or a set of attitudes that guide your communication and behaviour . According to Stephen Covey, an expert in leadership studies, there are six paradigms that may guide people in negotiating. Let us explore these paradigms further. 


This is a mutually beneficial approach to negotiating. It ensures that both parties involved are appeased with the settlement agreed upon. People who adopt this negotiating tactic are often empathetic listeners who are able to view the situation from the opposing perspective. These people are usually appropriately assertive and are able to make their point without attacking their opposition.


This, unfortunately, is one of the more commonly used methods of negotiating. It is executed with the intent of overtaking the competition as opposed to cooperative collaboration. People who make use of this stance are often found to have selfish intentions, a verbally aggressive approach and are not afraid of demeaning a person’s character inorder to advance their agenda.


This a the most submissive manner of negotiating. Seeing as it puts one’s needs aside to ensure that the opposing party may have a positive outcome, regardless of whether this may have a negative impact upon the first party negotiators. Users of this negotiation style are often found to be people pleasers who end up dissatisfied with the result of the negotiations.


This approach is never recommended. However, it may not be your decision whether or not to use it. It may be imposed by the opposing negotiators. Users of this tactic are found to have a lack of consideration accompanied with a spiteful mindset. This paradigm may be summed up as “If I’m going down you’re going down with me”.


“As long as I win, I don’t care if you win or lose”. With this negotiation method the user is only concerned with emerging triumphant, regardless of whether or not the opposing party is also victorious is of no concern. However, adoptees of this method do not actively seek to make their opposition fail. 

Win-Win or No Deal

This is perhaps the most considerate approach of negotiating possible. As this occurs when both parties wish to work together but unless it is beneficial for both, the deal may be postponed or called off. A skill needed for negotiating a Win-Win solution would be the ability to separate the people from the problem.

Non-verbal Messages

From dress codes to seat placements and all the hand gestures in between. We tend to speak volumes when we aren’t even saying anything.


Kinesics is the study of gestures and body movement. According to Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen, movements and gestures can be classified into various categories. They identified 3 categories of gestures that are important for leaders: emblems, illustrators and regulators.

Emblems are gestures with a direct verbal translation. These are gestures that can be substituted for a phrase and are often used when speech may be inappropriate or impossible. For example, if you walk into your manager’s office and he/she holds up an open palm without looking at you. Immediately you know that your manager does not want to be interrupted. The most commonly used emblem would be placing your index finger in front of your lips, a gesture requesting silence.    

Illustrators are gestures used to provide a visual aid.  It is common place to encounter these types of gestures when giving or receiving directions. The use of Illustrators helps others decode and interpret the information being given and helps you the Illustrator develop and encode the intended message.

Regulators are gestures that control the flow of conversation. Regulators assist in moderating turn taking within a conversation. For example, if someone tries to cut you off while you are speaking, a simple raise of your hand can signal to that person that you are still speaking. Back Channel Cues are also a type of regulators. These are subtle sounds given by the listener to indicate to the speaker that they are listening and wish to hear more. Examples of Back Channel Cues include “hmm” and “uh-huh” .


“It’s not what you said, but how you said it that bothered me” this expression, which you might have heard before, exposes us to the importance of Vocalics. This is also referred to as paralanguage and is the non-verbal aspects of our voice, such as rate, volume and pitch. When used correctly Vocalics can convey the right amount of emotion to ensure your audience that you mean what you say.

Facial Expression and Eye Contact

In a professional setting it is important to be cognizant of your facial expressions as they may convey the way you truly feel. Your facial expressions and eye contact also influence how others perceive you. In sales, a smile is shown to produce positive results while direct eye contact has been shown to enhance others perception of your credibility.


Haptics is the study of how human touch is used as a method of communicating. This is one of the most misunderstood means of communication as the message may be received differently from person to person.

Touch Avoidant. These are people who avoid touch and prefer not to be touched.

High Contact Cultures. People from these cultures are accustomed to a lot of touching for example in some parts of Europe where it is the norm for heterosexual men to kiss one another as a form of greeting.

Low Contact Cultures. In certain cultures physical contact is seen as a rare form of interaction and is often used to show affection.


According to Edward T. Hall, in his study of proxemics, he identified four spatial zones that we identify for ourselves.

Intimate Space. Ranging from 0 to 1 and a half feet from someone. This is reserved for those whom we are we are well acquainted with, unless forced to do so eg: in a crowded elevator or in the event that someone is trying to intimidate you.

Personal Space. Ranging from 1 and a half to 4 feet from someone. This is our comfort zone where most conversations with family and friends occur.

Social Space. Ranging from 4 to 12 feet from someone. This space is reserved for most formal group interactions as well as professional relationships.

Public Space. Begins at 12 feet from us. This is usually the distance from the audience to the speakers at most public presentations.


Chronemics is the study of how people use and structure their time. According to studies by Edward Hall, different people tend to use time differently and be grouped categorically according to their patterns.

Displaced Point Pattern. A person who uses time precisely, “On the dot”.

Diffused Point Pattern. A person who uses time approximately. For example if a meeting is set for 1:00pm they might show up at 1:15pm.

Identifying these traits amongst your co-workers may aid in creating cohesive corporate relations.

Dress Code

Professional dress codes give the perception of a higher status, competence, superior intellect and reliability. To best understand the dynamics of physical appearances in the workplace one can undertake the following tasks.

  • Monitor physical appearance standards.
  • Match the formality of your manager.
  • Dress for the occupation.
  • Dress for the job you want.
  • Appear neat and well groomed.

Rings, necklaces and earrings are found to be more appropriate on females rather than men.

Job Interviewing

Let us get into the life cycle of a job interview, and the best way to conduct yourself from a professional point of view. Here are the steps on how to adequately prepare yourself for an interview.

Identify the Interview Goal

Inorder to find the goal of the interview you need to be aware of the skills required. There are 3 categories in which skills can be placed.

Adaptive skills. These are the skills that allow you to function and be social daily. Skills like time management and maintaining motivation are adaptive skills that allow you to function in a particular manner. Being kind hearted and flexible are skills that impact on your ability to adapt to different social  settings.

Transferable skills. These are skills that can be used in a variety of jobs. For example conflict management, negotiating and instructing. Analyzing data and using technology are highly valued skills.

Occupational skills. These are skills that are specific to a certain job or field of expertise, for example accounting or being a pilot. These skills are only used in that field and cannot be transferred to an alternate occupation.

Develop a Resume

This should be a concise, well organised written description of background training and qualifications for a job. Employers spend very little time reading a resume. Your resume should consist of the following.

Personal Info. Name, address and contact details.

Career Objective. Employe may want to see this and may need adjusting pending on the position.

Education. Include all the necessary info regarding your past education

Experience. Describe your relevant work experience in descending chronological order, include your past employer’s name and the dates you started and ended your employment.

Honours and Accomplishments. List any awards or achievements you may have received.

Optional Information. If you have any volunteering experience or computer skills they may be placed here.

References. List the contact information of people that speak highly of your skills whom you have worked with in the past.

Research and Identify Positions

Now that you have taken stock, the next step is to identify a job that is a good fit for you. There are a few things you need to take into consideration and they are your personality, skills and abilities. Carefully compare the job requirements with your adaptive, transferable and job related skills to ensure that you pursue a position that is right for you.

Write a Cover Letter

A cover letter needs to be persuasive. It is required to reinforce your educational training, work experience and career interests to ensure you’re fit for the position. A cover letter should consist of the following.

Intro. This contains the position you applied for and an in depth detailing of how you heard about the position.

Body. In this section, your aim is to convince the reader that you are the right fit for the job.

Action Step. This is where you want to let them know your next step forward on your journey of self development.

Intro. Here you may express your appreciation for the readers time.

You are now ready to begin preparations for your interview.

Schedule the Interview

According to studies conducted by Michael Farr, most jobs are filled before they are advertised. The 3 best ways to find a job, according to Richard Nelson Bolles, are as follows.

Asking people you know for a referral to any jobs.

Knocking on the door of any place of employment that interests you whether it has a vacancy or not.

Using the yellow pages to contact companies of interest. 

Some career consultants suggest arranging an interview by phone as opposed to email, as potential employers find it more difficult to reject someone over the phone as opposed to Email.

Process the Interview

Some of the standard questions asked in an interview are.

  • What can you tell me about yourself?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your major strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • What will former employers say about you?
  • Why did you leave your prior job?

To answer these standard questions use these 5 communication principles

  • Be aware of your employer’s needs and how you will fulfill these with your skill.
  • Answer questions clearly ensure your response directly answers the question
  • Be aware of interviewers non-verbal messages
  • Listen carefully to questions
  • Demonstrate how you can help the organization meet its needs and goals

When given the chance to ask questions about the company, make sure they are relevant and thought provoking.

Following Up on a Job Interview

Once the initial interview is over express thanks and follow through on any additional requests made by the interviewer. Be aware of the principle of primary and recency, whereby people have the tendency to remember and be influenced by information received at the beginning and end of a social interaction.

Thus bringing us to the end of your interaction with this report about Negotiation Strategies, Non-verbal Messages and Job Interviewing. The information found within this report was gathered from the textbook titled “Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership”.


Ekman, P. & Friesen W.  Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership, page 61.

Covey, S.  Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership, page 140.

Hall, E.  Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership, page 63.

Bolles, R.N.  Professional Communication Principles and Skills for Leadership, page 180.