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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Power and Ethics in Business Communication

This paper will discuss power in oral and non-verbal communication. It will define what it is, why it is important and give a real-world example. This paper will also discuss ethics in leadership. It will define what it is, why it is important and give a real-world example.

Power in Oral and Non-Verbal Communication

What It Is

The definition of power can often be described as the ability to do something or act in a particular way. There are so many different ways that power can be interpreted for example there’s internal demonstration of power, which focuses on thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The external demonstration of power revolves around voice, body language, and the ability to influence or persuade. (Trovato, 2018)

Lastly, power comes down to where you personally believe power comes from. A few good questions to ponder when you personally think about power include do you ascribe to the belief that power is granted to you by others? Or do you believe that we are each innately powerful in our own right? (Trovato, 2018)

Why Is It Important

Power in oral communication is important because it helps show people that the way you talk shows your power and authority. Usually, the louder and bolder you tend to give people an idea that you have more power, whether or not this is the correct way to judge if someone has power. Non-verbal power is just as important as or almost more important than oral power. While trying to portray non-verbal power you have to make sure your body language is expressing the power. Some examples of expressing power through non-verbal communication include: sitting up straight, keeping the head up, and great eye contact. If you are slouching and do not have great eye contact you tend to appear less powerful.

A Real World Example

An example of power in oral language comes from my dad’s workplace. My dad is one of three vice presidents at his work. All the vice presidents have the same authority but some tend to be more powerful and respected than others. In this example, the ones that are louder tend to portray more power than the others even though they all have the same authority.

Ethics in Leadership

What It Is

Ethical leadership requires ethical leaders. Ethical leaders are usually people-oriented and are aware of how their decisions affect people and the company. Leaders tend to use their power and authority to serve in the best way to better the company and think less of self-serving. Some other characteristics of ethical leaders include inspiring, stimulating, and visionary behaviors that make up leadership. (Cooper, 2016)

Furthermore, an ethical leader demonstrates appropriate and professional behavior for his or her team. A leader that does not demonstrate ethical behavior in the workplace will often have a team that does respect him or her. Ethics is just not important to employ with workers, but can also be effective with clients and vendors. An ethical leader is straightforward with everyone she or he deals with, not just employees. (Schofield, 2018)

Why Is It Important

Often time’s leaders have power and everyone is looking to them for answers. With this in mind, leaders need to be very cautious when it comes to how they portray themselves whether it be in the workplace or in everyday life. This includes actions they engage in and ways they influence others. Once the leader adopts an ethical way it can help improve a team in the workplace and will then benefit the company, the leader, and also the employees.

A Real World Example

Lastly, an example of an ethical leader would be my old boss. The company that I used to work for was family owned because the company was a family own business my boss really wanted to see the company succeed. Not only did he want to see the company succeed he also wanted to see the employees succeed. Working in this kind of work environment really helped me to have respect for my boss and see who he truly was in the workplace, outside the workplace, and also what he stood for.


In closing, I would just like to say that how you represent yourself can show how much power you have in a workplace setting or even in an everyday setting. If you communicate with a very authoritative voice and show it in your vocabulary you are showing your power and will most likely be respected. While oral communication plays a big role in power non-verbal communication plays just as big of a role. Trying to show that you have power through non-verbal communication can be a little trickery sometimes. You must show your power through your body language which means having good posture, using eye contact, and lastly keeping your head up. These are some great ways to help show power through non-verbal communication.

Finally, ethics in leadership is extremely important. Being an ethical leader really helps employees and also the company succeeds. One of the more challenging things that come with being a leader is that you have to show you are being ethical in the workplace and not just the workplace but in your everyday life so that your employees or peers can see who you really are. These are just a few ideas and examples of how power and ethics are an important role in business communication.


Trovato, Tegan. (2018, February 27). Your Personal Power: An Examination. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from

Cooper, Donna. (2016). Retrieved March 02, 2018, from

Schofield, Tara. (2018). Retrieved March 02, 2018, from
















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