Dick Costolo

Leadership Communications: are you a good talker or a good communicator? Part 1

November 18, 2014

Communication skills are ranked as the number one skill a business leader requires.  That is why leaders spend an extraordinary amount of time and effort honing those skills.

Successful communicators don’t just talk big ideas, they speak to their audience, tuning in to their emotions and aspirations. They engage their colleagues, employees, shareholders and customers.

Great communicators adapt their messages and style to match the situation. As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Someone that does that with aplomb is Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. Of course it helps that he is in the business of casual communication. Whether he’s on a big stage, in the boardroom, with his team or just (inevitably) tweeting, Costolo is direct while still seeming accessible. He always makes reference to his team and the company which keeps things personal and instills a sense of trust.

When he is talking numbers he speaks with energy and enthusiasm. This upbeat style makes what he is saying sound all the more convincing. He has a reputation for being funny too, building a rapport with his audience, without compromising his business integrity.

Remember when he confronted Iranian president Hassan Rouhani via twitter, over the fact that the social network is banned in Iran? The president’s account was used to publicise his speech at the United Nations. Costolo directly messaged Rouhani:

Whether or not he is genuinely focused on making Iran a more open nation, it was a great communications wheeze for his firm because it got people thinking, talking and made the news. It showed this CEO was in touch, on top of his own technology and current affairs, focused on growing the business (in Iran and beyond) and that he has a sense of humour.

Read Leadership Communications: Are you a good talker or a good communicator? Part 2 Read about Benjamin Ball Associates Leadership Communications Training Programmes

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