Perhaps the most vital of the “soft skills” to cultivate is good communication. Leaders communicate goals and strategies to their organizations and to the public. Employers depend on employees to effectively contribute ideas or tactfully raise concerns, and to do so without putting others down or causing conflicts. Reports depend on managers to efficiently communicate expectations and targets.
Successful communication isn’t just about delivering your message, but ensuring that the other person receives it. Whether you’re writing to persuade, speaking to inspire or building your team – know your audience. Begin by listening, the foundation for all effective communication. Ask questions and restate what you hear to clarify. Take notes in meetings to remember assigned tasks better and to help you organize your thoughts (and they will also help when you’re called upon to give feedback on a project or suggestion). It’s an active listening technique that works.
Strong leaders inspire others with their words, and here too, knowing your audience, and addressing them with empathy, is fundamental to communicating your message.
Connection CultureATD Publications
In addition to the words you use, your tone, intention and body language also communicate. Find out more in our getTogether with Adrian Furnham, one of the world’s most renowned experts on the topic:
Writing for clarity and to persuade are also critical business communications skills. Find your own voice and strive for simplicity over technical language or jargon. Use narratives to capture attention and draw people in, but stick to your message!
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