‘The candidate must have excellent communication skills for this job’ – you must have read this sentence in most job descriptions.
While educational qualifications, experience and domain expertise are important, employers also look for communication skills in employees. In fact, poor communication skill is one of the top reasons for the rejection of candidates! Most employers also think that the main reasons for employee failing to achieve their targets are poor verbal and interpersonal skills.
Why are Communication Skills Important?
Whether you hold a strategic management position, are a customer-facing executive or for that matter, belong to any department of the organization, you never function in isolation. You have to interact with your peers, managers, subordinates, clients or vendors on a day-to-day basis to meet your KRAs. In this type of work environment, you cannot do without conversations and sharing information effectively. As you climb the hierarchy ladder towards a leadership role, communication skill becomes a necessary attribute.
Just because you indulge in informal chit-chat with your family and friends comfortably does not indicate that you possess the right communication skills for your workplace. You need to spend time and effort to cultivate written and spoken skills along with body language or non-verbal gestures. Together, they will help you acquire the right communication skills that employers hold so dearly.
Tips for Effective Communication
If you want to develop and master this soft skill, then follow these tips:
Listen Actively: Being a good speaker is not enough. You also need to be a good listener. Active listening helps you to understand your colleagues and customers well.
Be Succinct: You can drive away your listeners (at least mentally!) with convoluted speech during discussions, meetings or presentations. So, learn to keep your conversation short and sweet so that there is no scope for boredom or confusion for others. Always stick to the point and explain anything in detail, only if being asked to.
Speak Slowly and Clearly: If you speak too fast or your speech is difficult to understand, you will lose the attention of your listeners. Instead, learn to speak slowly and clearly so that your message gets conveyed effectively. Keep an eye out to make sure that they understand you and also get their feedback at appropriate intervals.
Communications is the key to being a successful leader. So, if you think your communication skills need little fine-tuning, don’t be apprehensive about participating in a leadership program.