Servant Leadership Mastery

Strategies, Stories, and Stimulus for Leading with Respect Along with Results

Chapter 2.

What Do Team Members Want from Their Leader?



Poor COMMUNICATION between leaders and team members can manifest in diverse ways. Signs can include:

  1. Lack of Clarity due to a mismatch of instruction and expectations, causing confusion and misunderstandings, leading to frustration, disappointments, and lack of trust.
  2. Lack of Feedback caused by leaders that do not provide and do not encourage feedback from tea members, causes a communication breakdown and prevents improvement at work, employees’ growth and progress can be stalled.
  3. Inconsistent Messaging creates confusion about what is expected of the team members’ actions and goals and what outcomes are to be achieved for the organization when mixed messages are expressed by the leader.
  4. Failure to Listen to concerns, and ideas not listened to cause frustration and disengagement, while ignoring this critical component in communication, trust can be eroded.
  5. Lack of Transparency in decision-making, organizational goals, and other important information creates mistrust amongst team members.
  6. Poor Timing can be detrimental as failing to communicate at all. For example, if the leader waits until the last minute to share important information, it can create stress and uncertainty for team members, causing them to be blamed for outcomes they could not control in the first place.
  7. Negative Tone creates hostile vibes and a toxic work environment that damages morale and productivity.
  8. Lack of Empath shows the failure to consider the perspective and feelings of their team members, which can create a culture of disengagement and apathy.


  1. Be Clear and Precise with specific expectations, goals, and instructions.
  2. Actively Listen, ask open-ended questions that you do not know the answers to, be quiet, and listen to the other’s ideas, needs, and concerns, letting an opportunity for others to express themselves.
  3. Deliver Important Information on Time, instead of last minute, not to jeopardize the team or the organization.
  4. Be Consistent in Messaging, do not say one thing and do another to prevent confusion and mistrust.
  5. Provide Constructive Feedback, by praising when deserved and offering suggestions for improvement with guidance.
  6. Practice Empathy, by taking time to understand team members’ points of view and showing that you care about their well-being and satisfaction.
  7. Use Multiple Channels to communicate with team members, including face-to-face conversations, phone calls, emails, and other messaging platforms.
  8. Follow-Up to ensure they understand the communication and have taken the appropriate actions.

By implementing these tips the communication between leader and team members can become more productive and improve towards a more positive work environment.


Dr. Maria Pressentin is a Servant Leadership Strategist, a multi-award-winning behavioral scientist, and a leadership development professional, Maria helps people shift their mindset and apply serving-leader skills to their daily interactions. Her work involves incorporating competencies of servant leadership in organizational functional and strategic roles to build long-term vitality in businesses. Her latest book is titled “Key Factors and Use Cases of Servant Leadership Driving Organizational Performance”, IGI Global, 2021.

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