Communication Skills in the Workplace

We closed the loop on Why is Effective Communication Important? by looking at how quickly we can see the results show up with the team members around us. It’s rare for me and Cindy to have a conversation about the importance of effective communication with any of the business leaders we support and not reference the Salesforce.com study citing that “86% of the executives surveyed attributed lack of collaboration and ineffective communication as the primary reasons for workplace failure.” Couple that with the detail shared by the Harvard Business Review showing that an engaged employee contributes up to 57% additional discretionary effort yielding as much as 20% great individual performance and the reasons for building strong communication skills into an organization’s culture becomes far more than just a neat idea… Developing communication skills in the workplace rapidly turns into one of those things that can’t happen soon enough! 

Before I move forward I’ll clear something up. If you’re wondering what connection employee engagement has to effective communication, we should really have a one on one conversation…

Moving on though, this is something that’s critical for each person currently carrying leadership responsibility and just as important for anyone moving into a leadership role! Cindy and I have seen this be a roadblock for so many leaders that three of the six lessons in our Emerging Leader Development course focuses on providing tools leaders can apply immediately in their role to communicate better with their teams. While it’s often considered to be an intangible soft skill, poor communication has very direct ties to a company’s overall profitability! The key really lies in understanding what steps to take to build this into our everyday routines as we interact with the folks around us…

Not many days go by where I don’t get an email or see an ad promoting the latest and greatest approach improving communication skills in the workplace. For that matter, I’m contacted directly at least once each week by someone offering to sell me some sort of fancy software or training module that will change my business. While some of it is truly interesting, I’m absolutely convinced that there’s just no substitute for simple and practical. Having studied just about anything I’ve been able to get my hands on around the topic of communication skills for over two decades, I’ve found that fancy and pretty don’t matter when it’s too complicated to take action on!

Through the next few posts, I’ll touch a few quick tips that can make an immediate difference in any setting and can be applied right away. If you’re hoping for something mystical or eloquent, don’t hold your breath. But if you’d like some basics that get results, I believe you’ll get them!

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