C171 - Effective Communication

Throughout history military leaders are praised for bravery and tactics such as Napoleon and Clausewitz. Some military leaders are known for their unique leadership style and influence such as Patton and MacArthur. Each of the mentioned military leaders was successful because of one technique, effective communication. Effective communication is the most important module in the C100 Foundation course. “Success as a military leader depends on the ability to think critically and … to communicate your intentions and decisions to others.” No action occurs without written or oral communication and poor communication creates confusion. Effective communication includes a written document, a speech and the method of delivery. The ability to effectively communicate both written and orally are a requirement for a field grade officer. FM 21-20 states “effective communications occurs when others understand exactly what you are trying to tell them and when you understand precisely what they are trying to tell you.” For this essay, effective communication refers to the exchange of information from the sender and how the information is interpreted by the listener. If a leader cannot effectively communicate, then the leader is ineffective.
No person communicates one hundred percent correct in every communication. Personal bias, distractions and interruptions are barriers to effective communication. The author can create effective communication techniques once barriers are known. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address on November 19, 1863 is comprised of only two hundred and seventy eight words. Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address in a simple, easy to understood short speech using a single topic. This is important because Lincoln was a simple man, he knew his audience, and conveyed his thoughts for all to understand. President Lincoln’s brevity and succinct speech serves an example of effective communication for field grade officers.
A field grade officer is required to explain...