Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Communication Truths You Must Embrace To Excel

 



It doesn't matter if you're an  accountant, engineer or a public relations expert.





 
It also won't matter if your entrepreneurial endeavours are steeped in the oil sector or birthed in tech.

 
 
 
At some point in your professional journey, you'd be required to emerge from the field, corner office or that workstation, to articulate your ideas in an important presentation to a boss/potential client/investor, or to pen a convincing memo/report/proposal for a worthwhile venture.


This fate will soon befall you if you haven't yet experienced the sheer panic that will engulf you when you learn of some communication that you'd be required to deliver. 



You can of course reassure yourself that you're the expert in your field and are thus exempt from the extra hassle of communicating effectively.


But you'd do yourself a disservice. The reality we face is that information is no longer the sole preserve of the elite, and it can be accessed at lightening speed via the internet and by innovations in technology. Indeed, the ease with which we retrieve information, even personal data, as evidenced by  the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal is unprecedented.

 


Here's the  paradox of this information age:




The more data that circulate the waves, creating the overload we've come to dread, the more tuned off we've become. We're simply overwhelmed by too many choices competing for our time.




This means that unless you make concrete efforts to stand out and become memorable by communicating effectively in speech and in writing, you're contributing to the clutter online. Moreover, without above-average communication skills, you'd be considered irrelevant - the death knell in your professional advancement.




Interestingly, research-backed benefits of good communication skills include the following revelations:



1) They’re the most desirable quality in a new hire.


2) They aid in the development of leadership skills.


3) They make you more money as a highly skilled communicator at the workplace.



Therefore, elevating your communication skills is necessary for advancement. To help you on this journey, below are three truths about communication that you must embrace in your career and business:




1) Becoming a convincing speaker is achievable

 

Anyone can become a memorable speaker..







Don't let people convince you that your background, limitations or unimpressive education automatically disqualify you from that exclusive group of dynamic speakers.


But it takes time, effort and discipline to achieve mastery in communication.


You must become almost obsessive about self-education as a non-negotiable requirement. You should ideally also sign up for formal training.


The popular saying—a goal without a plan is just a wish—rings true.


I've addressed the issue of improving your oral communication skills in different articles on this blog, but a recap is pertinent here, so:


a) Volunteer for more speaking gigs

To hone your oral skills, put yourself out there. From pro bono programmes and work-related activities, to networking sessions and conferences -  seek opportunities to speak. You must be willing to work despite your fear of speaking in public.


b) Join your local chapter of Toastmasters Club

There, you'd be critiqued but supported. Many speakers have attested to the usefulness of being held accountable for their progress by participating in regular speaking activities.


c) Seek help online

Numerous resources abound online and on social media to help you improve your speaking and presentation skills. From blogs, webinars and seminars, to workshops, courses and books - there's no excuse for remaining complacent.

Many of those resources are free, so take advantage of this information age and arm yourself with knowledge that would sharpen your communication skills.


d) Get coached by experts with proven records (bonus tip)

Although this option might be expensive, consider formal training in public speaking and effective presentations as an investment that will continue to yield favourable returns in your business and your career long after the programmes.

One-on-one coaching sessions by experts who speak professionally would be particularly invaluable in terms of the feedback you’d receive, as well as advice on tools/resources they’d recommend for you to continue to hone your craft.


After the education in public speaking, painstakingly practise what you learn. With discipline in continuous learning and practice in proven methods, you'd yield consistent results that translate to quicker career progression and more business opportunities.


Remember that anyone is capable of becoming a memorable speaker. If you need more reassurance, this  post  explains how effective communication can be learned; it isn't an innate skill a select few are born with.



2) Speaking with purpose wins over more people

"Speak clearly if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall ".
- Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894).



It takes certain wisdom to speak only when you've got something meaningfully to say.


From team meetings, focus groups deliberations and committee hearings, to tense debates, negotiations and media engagements, practise active listening and weigh your words before you speak.


Speaking with purpose communicates two crucial things: i) that you've thoroughly considered the topic and will bring insights necessary for action; ii) that you're a thoughtful, credible professional who's the best person to lead/handle the issue.


Therefore, speak in a simple manner; speak in a succinct fashion; and speak in clear terms. The higher the stakes, the more readily you should adhere to simplicity, brevity and clarity - the three beacons of effective communication.


Note also that those who are deliberate in their utterances and whose words are seasoned by their credibility (ethos), by emotion (pathos), and  by logic (logos)—adhering to  Aristotle's suggestions for persuasion—are seen as trustworthy and would win over more people.


Strive to be one of them.




3) Writing concisely leads to quicker results

"That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time".

- Caleb Charles Colton (1780-1832).





Brevity was relevant in Colton's time, but it's more pertinent now because of the fast-paced era of the 21st  century.




People have little time (and less patience) for confusing emails, ambiguous articles, long-winded reports or tedious white papers, even if the grammar is impeccable and the style is flawless.


 

If you master the art of conciseness in all your communications, especially in your business writing, you'd get quicker responses to requests and stronger actions from your recipients.




Then there's the bonus  of  being  considered the subject matter expert for the issue you're handling, and of being appointed the leader in an initiative because of your perceived mastery.




However, note the caveat - it's challenging to write in a concise, compelling manner, if you don't truly understand your topic, or if you haven't used certain methods to trim the clutter to emerge with crisp content.




That's why this post on achieving conciseness  in your business writing gives tips you could use to become a convincing writer who achieves goals. The expanded version is available on the website of the Case Center organisation.



Regularly practise those suggestions for optimal results.





 Conclusion





Good communication is no longer a desirable skill at the workplace. Now a pertinent ability, it is expected in all professional feats if you want to succeed.


 
New hires, mid-level managers, C-suite executives, and leadership pundits, should all realise that excellent communication skills distinguish one professional from the next.

 
You won’t always be the most experienced, talented or knowledgeable person at the workplace or in your business circle. Nonetheless, you can significantly differentiate your profile from others by displaying persuasive communication skills.

 
So dare to be different. Use the suggestions made in this article and advance boldly.

And now, over to you:

 
What other communication truths have you learned that bring results?

Kindly post your comments below.
 
 
If you enjoyed this post don't rush off just yet. Please remember to:

 
ØShare this article in your social networks by clicking on the icons below.
 
 
ØSign up for updates in the blog's right sidebar on the homepage so that you are immediately notified via email when a new blog post is published. Don’t miss any more articles!


Need help with improving your communication skills?

Hire me for:

v Communication training and  sessions for  your staff and executives;

v One-on-one coaching in speeches/presentations and in business writing;

v Speeches and keynote presentations at your corporate events;

v Writing assignments (content creation, executive speeches, etc.).


Let me help you get results.


Contact me:

A) Send an email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com.

B) Call for a free consultation: 

Nigeria:           0704 631 0592
International: +234 704 631 0592 
---------------------------------------------

 
N.B:   First and fourth images are courtesy of Stuart Miles, via freedigitalphotos.net. Second and fifth images are courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net. Third image is courtesy of Iosphere, via freedigitalphotos.net.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We know you have opinions. Kindly post your comments.