Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Are Communication Skills, Anyway?

This post is for those who wonder what it really is that communication experts do for others. Probably you were taught to say what you mean and mean what you say. And that's an excellent way to live, but it's not enough to get your message across.

Here's a list of work-related communication skills:

- working on teams or committees

- teaching others

- dealing with customers

- leading

- negotiating

- working with people across cultures

- interviewing

- listening

- conducting meetings

- resolving conflicts

A survey of subscribers to the Harvard Business Review rated "the ability to communicate" as the most important factor in deciding on a candidate's promotability.

A 20-year study following Stanford University MBAs indicates that the most successful graduates are also outstanding communicators. These are people who

- like to persuade

- are interested in talking and working with people

- are considered to possess a positive personality

It's not what you know, or even who you know, it's how you get your message across.