31 Aug Communication: The Foundational Skill For All Other Soft Skills
Sales meetings, product demonstrations, and basically all other business discussions have one thing in common — they involve interpersonal communication. Communication, or the lack thereof, influences how a company operates and its success as much as any business model. But not only is communication a fundamental aspect of business, it’s also the foundational skill for other soft skills many professionals use every day.
Great leaders understand success comes from building relationships with the people they work with and empowering them to take initiative. It’s impossible to forge these connections without spending time with your people, finding out what motivates them, and showing them they’re more than a number. All of these interactions require communication. Conversations also drive business, so leaders often have to communicate the company’s vision to prospective clients and corporate partners as well.
Teams don’t usually achieve their goals if they’re not on the same page. Members must communicate with each other to hash out roles for a project, create a plan of attack, and keep their teammates informed of any progress or challenges. Successful teams operate as a free-flowing, cohesive unit where effective communication serves as the catalyst.
Any time you have to give constructive feedback to a colleague or peer, it’s important to communicate your thoughts in the right way. Instead of directly criticizing someone else’s work, it’s usually more effective to cite specific examples, ask questions, and then let whoever produced the work make the appropriate changes. This technique helps them see things from a different perspective and also encourages critical thinking.
There’s a delicate balance between making people feel heard and helping them come to a productive resolution. Active listening is an integral part of communication, especially when a conflict arises in the workplace. It’s important for the person handling a dispute to take different concerns into account and communicate the appropriate solution accordingly.
Whether you’re presenting to a client, leading a business meeting, or speaking to a room full of people, confidence plays a big part in how well you communicate. Eye contact, posture, hand positioning, and other movements can reveal just as much about confidence as how you say things. Remember to consider your verbal and nonverbal cues as you communicate to ensure your message gets relayed effectively.
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