Board Leadership Module 4: Impactful Communication

July 2020
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

The Visionary Board Leadership and the Transition to Value 6-part video series, designed for critical access hospital board members, focuses on developing systems thinking and visionary leadership skills as keys to thriving in the changing health care landscape.

A suggested approach to use the content: Board of Directors should watch one of the six 15-20-minute videos every other month over the course of 12 months. Each module includes three parts: 1) educational content from subject matter experts, including interviews with rural hospital board members and CEOs sharing best practices and words of wisdom; 2) discussion questions for boards to consider how module topics apply to their organization and community; and 3) suggested activities for boards to put best practices into action. 

Module 4


In this fourth module, we look at the role that communication plays in all of the things we’ve talked about so far in this program: sharing a clear, compelling vision; reaching across boundaries; and ultimately, successfully navigating the transition to value. We also share some strategies for communicating across audiences and creating compelling messages.


  • Communication and the path to value
  • Communicating the vision across audiences
  • The role of a board in communication
  • Crafting impactful messages
  • Adapting communication styles

Discussion Questions

  • How do you as board members view your role in communicating on behalf of the hospital? Are there any opportunities for doing more of this? 
  • How does your board currently communicate with other health care and community organizations? Which methods are most successful? Why?
  • How do you currently gather information and feedback from the community and bring it back to the hospital?
  • What messages about your organization might you like more of the community to hear? How might you tailor your messages to be as relevant as possible for each audience?


Think through your messaging with the new partner you identified for the Module 3 activity. What do they know about your organization? What might they be interested in learning more about? How might you tailor your messaging to connect with them?

If you didn’t have the opportunity to reach out to a new partner after the last module, learn more about potential entities that your organization might benefit by connecting with. Choose one of these organizations to contact and learn more about the services they provide.


The Best Presentations are Tailored to the Audience
This article shares strategies for understanding your audience.

The Best Ways to Communicate Your Organization’s Vision
Recommendations for sharing your vision in ways that matter to others.

Tuning In: Improving Your Listening Skills
Practical strategies for getting the most out of a conversation.

Why Communication is so Important for Leaders
This article shares 5 tips for communicating more effectively.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,560,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.