Why You Need To Learn Sign Language To Be An Effective Leader

Sign Language - People Development Network
Sign Language - People Development Network

The passing of the American Sign Language Act made sign language gain popularity – it’s now one of the fifth most used languages in the United States. Learning sign language can give you a  peek into the culture and life of the hard hearing communities. As a leader, it’s important to make an effort to learn sign language as it can help you become more inspiring and impactful in your communication, which would ultimately enable you to easily influence those around you.
Below are more reasons why you should learn sign language to be an effective leader:

Connect With Different People

Sign language provides an avenue to engage in productive and meaningful conversations with the community of hard-hearing persons. These people are currently over a million in the United States. Therefore, learning the language opens up a window of opportunity for you to meet and connect with a new breed of friends.

Embracing and identifying with different groups is an element that a good leader should possess. Leadership requires one to be receptive and accommodative to different people, regardless of race, colour, and religion. When you can engage with people from diverse groups, you get new dimensions and views for personal growth that prepares you to be a better leader. 

Since sign language is full-bodied communication, it enables you to enhance your relationships, whether at work, in the community, or the family.

Ability To Create Visual Stories

Most leaders tend to employ the techniques of creating visual stories to influence the people they are leading to action. By learning sign language, you enhance your visual skills since it’s more of a visual language. 

Developing visual stories requires critical thinking prowess that’s applied to storytelling or when relaying information with other languages. Such stories go hand in hand with orations, which is a leadership attribute that has been demonstrated by renowned leaders, such as Barack Obama of the US, in gaining dalliance with the masses.

Self-awareness

Sign language is firmly inculcated in the culture of the deaf community. So, studying sign language promotes sensitivity to the deaf community. 

A leader should also be someone who’s not detached to the needs of the people they’re serving. That’s why learning sign language can promote your self-awareness and making you a more effective leader.     

Makes You More Adaptable To Changes

Learning sign language brings you into a new world of different communities and cultures. But, more importantly, it helps you adapt to a new way of life that previously might have just been a dream. 

Leadership dynamics demands that you must be someone who can quickly adapt and embrace new perceptions, issues, and challenges. So, learning sign language is one of the surefire ways for a leader to be able to give their best to those who have bestowed the leadership role on them.          

Promotes Cognitive Functioning

A bilingual individual increases their cognitive functions. Sign language also provides you with different alternatives concerning how to express things differently, which changes your general perspective about communication. 

As a leader who knows sign language, you gain better attention to details. In addition to that, you develop superior task-switching skills that are valuable in leadership. Importantly a bilingual person performs better at tasks that require conflict management, which is not devoid in leadership positions. 

Moreover, knowing the American Sign Language (ASL) makes you a professional at jobs that require inhibition and controllability. This means, with a developed cognitive system, you’re able to ignore any competing perceptual information and focus only on the most relevant aspects. 

Promotes Persuasive Skills

Akin to a salesperson, learning sign language enables you to absorb information and explain it comprehensively to people without any prior knowledge on the subject. 

For instance, one thing a sign language interpreter has to do is identify which signs to use, as well as understand how to sequence the information logically in a way that can be easily assimilated by the intended audience. 

As a leader, being able to present complicated issues in an easy manner can make you resonate well with your employees at work or within your family. 

Conclusion

It’s essential, therefore, to learn sign language to be an effective leader due to the following reasons. It promotes self-awareness, builds connections with different people, makes one able to create visual stories; as a leader, you become more adaptable. Additionally, it improves your cognitive skills and also makes you more persuasive.

Samantha Depierro

Samantha Depierro

Samantha is an HR practitioner who has worked with several companies to help them improve their HR practices. Samantha has gained decades of experience in handling all HR facets that include managerial relations, labour relations, training and development, recruitment, and compensation and benefits. When Samantha is not busy at work, she writes articles about the importance of effective HR practices and why startups should always prioritize this area of the business.

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