Four aspects for a leader to consider when communicating

1. Direction: Top down or bottom up? Fair? Bilateral for some but not others? The direction of your communications signals whether you are broadcasting or conversing.

2. Frequency: Important things get repeated more often than non-important items. If you're not repeating yourself, you're not signaling the importance of the message.

3. Content: The content of the message starts before the actual message. It starts with the context. Two people can deliver the exact same message to greatly different effects. Why? Because their messages are pregnant with different things. A good communicator understands how his/her message is being interpreted and massages the content according to the filter being applied to it. This isn't manipulation — it's more like adjusting the tint on a TV.

4. Channel: You can say, "I want this to be a dialogue" all you want, but if you're disseminating the message through a recorded video on your company's intranet, then no one will believe you. Similarly, you may tell someone that you have some quick feedback for them on a project, but if instead of a quick e-mail, you put your notes into a formal memo and copy the VP, rest assured they will interpret your "feedback" as a formal reprimand and will feel sandbagged. The channel needs to match the intention.

The four things every leader should know about good communication -