The CEO Voice

A lot of verbal and nonverbal communication occurs daily within a company, much of it is interpersonal and does not impact the entire company. However, when the CEO says or does something it usually reverberates throughout the organization. As with all power, it is a double edged sword.

For example: the CEO is facing a large problem, has worried about it all night. They continue to dwell on it as they drive to the office, they get out of their car and with head down, fierce concentration on their face as they walk through the building directly to their office and close the door to begin to solve the problem.

What do you think is happening in the rest of the building? What do you think the productivity is as employees try to figure out what just happened? Is the company OK? Am I going to get laid off? Did I do something wrong? It is human nature to personalize their reaction to this behavior.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify not only your current emotion but also to identify the behaviors that will have the results you desire. If the CEO had spent one minute in their car analyzing their emotions and recognizing the impact of their behavior on others, chances are they would make that journey to their offices in a much different way.

Northern Star Bottom Line: Leaders must be aware of the impact of not only their words but also of their actions. The CEO Voice is always loud but not always clear.