How Great Leaders Communicate? | ILLUMINATION

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Historical Evidence From the Famous Speech of the Queen Elizabeth I

It’s no secret that leaders face the biggest challenges. In that moment, the leader’s skills are called to evoke the same determination and abilities for the rest of the people. In other words, efficient leadership requires an A+ in communication skills.

For such communication skills, three essential steps must be combined with the carefully selected words. These can help anyone project strength and showcase determination. The steps are following:

  • Appealing to Emotions and Loyalty
  • Projecting Strength and Confidence
  • Shared Sacrifice and Promise of a Reward

In this article, we will dig deeper into leadership communication and show the evidence from Queen Elizabeth I’s speech to the British troops at Tilbury.

Photo generated by DALL-E.

In the 16th century, the race between European countries for the domination of seas was heating up. King Philip II of Spain saw the British Empire as his biggest rival and threat to dominate the world seas. At the same time, the Great Spanish Armada was developed ready to attack the island.

Faced with the increased danger of foreign invasion, the British Queen went to Tilbury as the Spanish Armada was getting closer to British shores. Being a leader, she needed to showcase determination and motivate her troops. Her speech was remembered as Tilbury Speech. Let’s analyze it.

#1 Emotional Appeal

Great leaders project their expertise to others by showing their absolute belief and faith in their people. With leadership being the key relation between people, one of the key leadership skills is his or her trustworthiness. Only if leaders believe in their people, the people will do the same.

By stressing the words love, trust, and, faith, Queen Elizabeth I not only declares her absolute belief in her soldiers but also appeals to their inner self to feel and be recognized as important. Great leaders understand this essential law of human behavior.

Graph created by the author.

Moreover, by strengthening her statements with emotional appeal, the Queen emphasizes the join motivation and future. In the words, she creates a joint sense of belonging.

#2 Shared Sacrifice and Promise of a Reward

As we discussed in the previous article about Caesar, great leaders must be willing to do everything not only that. They need to share their fate with their people to show to people that being in a higher position requires more responsibility.

By stressing her share in the battle she once more reassures her soldiers that she will willingly participate even if she doesn’t have to. She’s the Queen at the end of the day.

Graph created by the author.

Finally, like every great communicator she understands that human nature also seeks material contributions, not only values. She goes on to promise rewards and crowns for the brave soldiers of hers.

#3 Projecting Strength and Confidence

Ultimately, the Queen showcased her understanding of her limitations of being a woman. The feeling of self-awareness she brought was essential for raising the spirit in her soldiers.

Moreover, she acts upon the danger and shows courage despite all the possible limitations she could feel. Research shows that this type of self-awareness is crucial because it allows the leader to make better decisions and relations.

As shown in the Tilbury speech, effective leadership is inevitably connected to the communication skills of the leader. Equally important is the choice of words and principles to evoke within the crowd.

Graph created by the author.

Jointly, these three traits have shown to be essential in effective leadership:

  • Appealing to Emotions and Loyalty
  • Projecting Strength and Confidence
  • Shared Sacrifice and Promise of a Reward

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