In the work I do with leaders, communication is often a cornerstone competency that is focused on during coaching. Why? Because leaders who can communicate well will be able to forge lasting and trusting relationships. And let’s face it, leadership is about relationships.

And an important part of communications is listening to understand other points of view and opinions. Those leaders who haven’t built this skill are guaranteed to miss opportunities because of their unwillingness to really hear others. While communications are important, emotional intelligence is often the underlying driver to great communications. Being able to read people’s reactions, adapt your delivery to the needs of others, and get curious not judgmental improves communications and the following results.

When communications move to a digital form versus a personal form, bad things can happen. No longer can you hear the tone of the other person’s voice or see her facial reactions. The result can be misinterpretation and damage to relationships.

In this recent article, Tim Cook, Apple CEO, uses one word in an email that is a question and is emotionally intelligent. Read more here.