Exceptional communication capability is a rare skill and it’s unanimously considered as the key to success in any profession along with being the cornerstone of leadership.
Excellent communication skills help develop a lot of other interpersonal skills (like active listening, collaboration, team working, negotiation, etc…) and increase the value of an individual in the professional arena.
In this article, we shall see how remarkable communication skills can catapult individuals to the top of their career’s ladder and why it’s the holy grail of professional success. But before that, let’s just reinforce the significance of communication in this example below.
Understading why precise communication is so important?
Let’s see a small dialogue between an ‘Analyst’ on an IT application development project and the ‘Customer’:
Customer: We would like to create an application where we can create and update our new as well as existing users. This portal should be available 24X7 and can only be accessed by a designated administrator with required permissions…
Analyst: Oh, I see. So, you are actually trying to create a permission management console where you can manage permissions and access of your users.
Customer: Well, sort of. We are actually looking towards a type of user management portal with sections dedicated to user creation, user updation, user deletion and user authorization.
Analyst: Great, I completely understand the kind of application you are looking at. In fact, we have a prior experience creating such application and if you agree, we can schedule a walkthrough of that application sometime this week.
Customer: Sure. I don’t have a problem with that.
Now let’s see if you can point out the issues with the communication used above. On the surface it looks like the analyst is trying to comprehend what is the kind of application that needs to be built and based on his understanding, he is suggesting a demo of a similar application build by his team.
However, if you dig deeper, you will notice the following issues with the above conversation:
- Misinterpretation: Since the analyst heard his client say that the portal will be managed by admin with required permissions, he interpreted that what they want is a user management portal.
- Assumptions: The analyst assumed that he has already worked on a project which is similar to the client’s requirements without validating the exact requirements with the customer
- Improper listening: In his second statement, the client doesn’t seem very happy with the analyst’s initial understanding of requirements but he fails to take notice
- Burning communication bridges: In both the instances, the analyst made statements that were close-ended and didn’t leave any room for the client to add anything – big mistake.
Often we underestimate the impact of poor communication skills and the above example reflects exactly that.
Related Article: 9 Quick Tips to improve your communication skills
Communication increases productivity
A professional who is having a stronghold on verbal and written communication skills is able to write crisp emails, author comprehensive documents/reports/presentations, comfortably gets his thoughts across his teammates & managers, clearly describe issues & concerns and effectively handle meetings & clients conversations.
Unambiguous communication avoids confusions and removes chances of ambiguity which usually arises from lack of details in emails, poor sentence construction in documents, incoherent conversations and inferior articulation skills.
A considerable decrease in time wasted on clarifications & explanations and increase in personal and team’s work productivity.
Communication improves your relations with your colleagues and co-workers
Irrespective of the work environment (co-located or geographically apart) regular and effective communication ensures the complete team is on the same page, removes ambiguity & confusions and drastically improves the chances of project success.
Additionally, during a semi or informal communication with the colleagues, all the involved members get to know more about each other and interact with the real person behind a designation or a role. In the process, they start to share experiences, emotions which in turn inculcate trust and confidence – essential when working as a team.
It should be noted that professionalism should be maintained while communicating in office and loud talks, giggles & loose conversations should be avoided.
Communication helps you stand out and shine
If an associate has a respectable grasp over verbal and written communication, is articulate in his/her conversations and has a confident demeanor then he/she is amongst the top 5 percent of the workforce (irrespective of the domain/industry). They are able to command meetings, handle issues and conflicts, take decisions, make their presence felt and outshine others all because they confidently showcase their talents and skills by being vocal and engaging.
Everybody admires an effective communicator and given a choice between 2 professionals with same skillset, the one with better communication skills will be the obvious choice. Professionals with exceptional communication acumen are always preferred be in job interviews, promotions, salary raises and senior management as they have the guts to speak their mind.
Communication improves your image and popularity
Individuals who are able to express and communicate their ideas and their work explicitly are respected for being vocal and methodical. Owing to their ability to start and maintain engaging discussion, such individuals constantly get to meet new people and in turn, increase their professional network. All this builds up the trust of their co-workers and managers in their skills and capabilities – thus creating a positive image as the ‘go-to guy’.
It goes unsaid that such Individuals will be the top contenders for promotions!
Communication improves confidence and self-worth
When you are an effective communicator you are able to ask meaningful questions, clarify doubts, suggest improvements and hold discussions.
All these activities help you gain other’s attention and making yourself heard. Also, it gradually helps in increasing your confidence in your own capabilities when you can see that you are effectively able to handle your job responsibilities and also help co-workers in a team environment.
Also, since you are able to meet your job expectations, you are bound to get appreciations and accolades from your co-workers/employer which in turn, gives a big boost to your self-worth and esteem.
Communication brings out the leader in you
What is a common trait among all the Great leaders?
All of them were Great communicators!
For somebody to realize your potential, your thoughts, your ideas, your vision and your true worth, you have to communicate it first!
Great leaders are great communicators first because they have the ability to transform their thoughts into strong, coherent and inspirational sentences and dialogues. Their communication capability is far more developed than a normal person and they know how to modulate their tone, pace their talks and balance their vocabulary based on the context of the conversation and the audience.
Great communicators go on to inspire and motivate their listeners and readers by their verbal and lingual authority, make them their raving fans and followers and become ‘Leaders’ in the process.
Communication makes you an ideal employee and a better human being
Communication is a two-way process – it’s about speaking what you think or feel and listening what the other person has to say – an exchange.
Most of us just believe that communication is all about speaking and forget that we have 2 ears and only one mouth – to listen twice as much as we speak!
The quality of patiently listening (not just hearing) inculcates feelings of humility and compassion for the other human being you are talking to. Also, since everybody loves being heard, you will earn respect and gain admiration.
Independent of the industry and domain, effective communication is one of the top 5 skills that are key to professional growth!!
Excellent communicators increase workplace productivity, helps build a cordial relationship with the team members, improves your popularity, enhances your leadership capabilities and overall makes you a better human being.