The Power of a Great Communicator

What is common among these high achievers in the marketing field?

• A recent college graduate landed a dream job on his third interview after he rehearsed the company’s pitch for eight hours. His performance became the model for the rest of the company’s sales team on how to sell their product.

• A mid-level manager who rapidly ascending the ranks of his Fortune 500 technology firm because he’s considered as one of the company’s best presenters.

• The marketing manager of a large construction company re-tooled the company’s PowerPoint presentation and landed an $875 million contract.

The answer….great communication skills.

Communication is part of all our daily lives. Whether it’s going to a coffee shop to order our favourite drink or to building relationships with people, communication plays a very important role. It is defined as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviour.

Why Should We Develop Great Communication Skills?

As we see above, people with great communication skills are assets that can bring organisations to greater results. For this is reason, having great communication skills ranks among the most important requirements when hiring managers and executives. They recognise that communication will always play an integral part of their employees daily tasks. Even an employee who sits by themselves is still likely to communicate with many people on the phone or via email. Being able to get information across clearly is vital in keeping a company or an organisation running smoothly and cohesively.

In a study conducted by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm, it was found that companies that have great communication practices are 50 percent more likely to report below the industry average when it comes to employee turnover. That is a huge saving in resources right there so that alone should be enough reason to aspire for the same at your workplace.

As well as that, several studies confirm the link between great communication practices and high job satisfaction, improved company performance, increased productivity and more empowered employees.

Is it time to look where improving communication will help you?

Developing this skill will help your organisation have people who:

• Are effective in give and take, registering emotional cues in attuning their message.
• Deal with difficult issues straight forwardly with less conflict.
• Listen well, seek mutual understanding, & welcome sharing of information full.
• Foster open communication and stay receptive 
to bad news as well as good.
• Communicate clearly, and in a logical, organised manner.
• Speak effectively in front of large groups.
• Listen to feedback without becoming defensive

On the other hand, an organisation that lacks great communication have leaders and others who:

• Focus on their own objectives rather than others’ needs
• Provide routine or “off-the shelf” solutions and ideas
• Speak poorly of others
• Refuse to take a stand on behalf of another person
• Fail to provide extra help (or even any help at all)
• “Pass the buck”
• May be discourteous and abrasive.

Lack of great communication in your organisation can cause unmet expectations, relational breakdown, low morale, dissatisfied clients and high levels of stress which can lead to a number of health related and performance issues. This not only affects you and your employees, but your whole organisation as well.

Let me share some tips to help you improve communication in your organisation.

• Approach people in a positive manner; be open to and verbally welcome their ideas and opinions.

• Build bridges of understanding and cooperation; seek out common interests and goals and speak to those.

• Listen for and customise your communication to the needs of other individuals (i.e., if they need data to make a decision, let them take the time they need to become comfortable with the data; if they need to be acknowledged, recognise them).

• Ask a lot of open-ended, unbiased, neutral questions that lead the conversation in a positive direction.

• Seek first to understand what the other person is saying; ask questions to clarify; repeat back and paraphrase what you think you heard; convey that you have heard them (they won’t hear you until you hear them).

• Maintain composure; keep your communication constructive. Convey your intent to help and support and not diminish, put down or make the other person wrong.

• Communicate clearly and completely; plan your messages ahead of time to ensure the best delivery and reception Express appreciation often and with genuine sincerity

Great communication creates a culture of growth and openness in any workplace or organisation. It also breeds mutual understanding between management and their teams which helps in building genuine relationships among both parties in organisations.

Communication is one of the Relationship Management competencies of Social + Emotional Intelligence. They are concepts and skills that can be learned and developed with professional help.

At People Builders, we have experts who can help you evaluate the current level of communication in your team and then educate and empower them to achieve results like the high achievers we introduced at the start of this article.

Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can create a culture of great communication for you and your people.