Platform skills communication training is largely constructed from anecdotal evidence, and some basic nods to corporate etiquette. It is surprisingly helpful when teaching those who have few or no communication skills. Advanced leadership communication skills require a far more reaching understanding of linguistics and cognitive science.
Aristotle’s rhetoric was the gold standard until about one hundred and fifty years ago for public speakers. Many of his thoughts still echo in modern rhetorical studies. Modern versions of rhetoric have updated his thesis and improved upon it. However, rhetoric alone often feels like memorizing the properties of all the periodic table elements without first studying the few fundamental particles that create all elements.
My study of neuroscience and linguistics reveals all communication employs three pervasive cognitive systems – factual, emotional, and symbolic. Facts never speak for themselves. Strictly emotional decision-making is a similar myth. And the power of metaphor and story are under-estimated at your peril.
Going beyond platform skills requires as much work as learning and applying other advanced knowledge domains such as strategy, economics, quality, or big data analytics. Yet far more time is given to these arenas than communication. Like any endeavor, advanced development requires advanced techniques and a devotion to learning that goes beyond the basics. You don’t become an Olympic weight-lifter by only practicing push-ups.