Communication skills is essential in our everyday life. In most institutions of higher learning, communication is included in the course with marketing. The concept of “Marketing and Communication” going hand in hand, and logically so. However, a large percentage of the people requiring training and honing of effective communication skills never receive the kind of exposure they need to become effective communicators.
Possibly one of the biggest issues when people move into management positions is that although they have all the tools and training to fulfill their basic job requirements, they lack the skills to communicate these effectively to colleagues and subordinates. Additional training is often required to assist these potential managers to learn to speak, email and act their way to efficient and effective communication.
Unfortunately in many cases people do not receive the training they need. They are left to develop bad or often self-defeating habits in their communication efforts.
There are a few who do prosper, armed with a natural talent to communicate with various sources. These individuals adapt quickly to any environment and often find themselves acting as mediators between teams, or various levels of management.
It is unfortunate that the skills as a set are often relegated to the “soft skills” toolbox and are not ranked as highly as skills developed in a classroom or through a university degree (except in the above marketing example).
When undergoing appraisals or reviews, most staff are either criticised or praised on their natural lack or utilisation of this skills in the workplace. Unfortunately, they are often not given the opportunity to develop or enhance their skills.
The ability to communicate well these days are more crucial than they were 50 years ago. When communication not only takes place face to face but through a multitude of media and languages, a lot of material can get lost not only during the translation of language but also the culture and the basic understanding of the content.
Ensuring that an individual or team is working effectively among themselves in the office and cross borders requires that they are trained on effective and key skills.
More educational institutions should be pushing courses not only on business communication skills, the accompanying methodologies and approaches but also going into companies and assessing the communication methods already in place.
Once having understood the business needs and the constraints, these training facilities or individual trainers would have the opportunity to bridge the gaps, institute new and relevant skills. They can also assist the individuals and teams in monitoring these programs to assess the success or failure of different approaches.
In summary, communication skills are necessary in any environment. They do not necessarily get cultivated and developed when and where necessary. A lack of skill in this area can often negatively impact a perfectly qualified individual in their ability to carry out their job. However, well honed and developed skills can give any individual the keys to creating their own success.