Knowledge for great careers

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION


Most of the times, we do not realize the importance of communication in our day-to-day professional life and is mostly overlooked. It is important that we put across our views and opinions effectively to the people in our organization so that everyone is on the same page towards the goal. A goal-oriented group of individuals in a team or organization can reach success in an easier way than others.

Communication is the medium or the process by which one can convey or express his thoughts, views and feelings. Whatever be the mode of communication, the effectiveness of the communication is very important for the success of an individual or a team.

Ineffective or bad communication is equivalent to not exhibiting your opinions. Hence the key factor for success is communication, especially effective communication. Communication can be of 5 types in nature.

Very popularly described as WOVEN, the five types include written, oral, verbal, electronic and non-verbal communication. But why is effective communication important or rather how does communication help in achieving success?

1. Communication will help strength relationships and will improve bonding among the people in a team or organization. The more you communicate openly and frankly, the listener will tend to build his levels of comfort and confidence in you. Once the confidence level increases among the team members, the goal turns into a common one and thus can be easily achieved.

2. Effective communication will prevent many misunderstandings in general. Assumption is a major adversity as many people tend to think that others know what they are thinking. But when opinions clash, it turns into misunderstandings and conflicts. Such problems can be resolved by taking time to convey across thoughts and feelings in an accurate manner. Thus communicating is important so as to make sure that everyone is in synchronization to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts.

3. It is a must that important decisions and factors are documented for reference in future. This kind of written communication can be held as a proof for future use. Also such kind of documentation helps in keeping the team members in synchronization with the goals and standards that were formulated even before they joined the team.

4. Communication is always not necessarily from the top management. It also needs to be equipped by every member of the team to send their thoughts and views. When there are cases of complaints or misunderstandings, team members need to communicate that to their leaders following the right hierarchy so as to reduce the level of frustration and friction within the team.

5. Decision making in an organization hugely depends on the thoughts and ideas that are communicated from all the employees. Strategies like brainstorming and other kind of decision making tools need thoughts and views of all the involved members as the prime input. Such kind of methods require effective communication processes to make the entire process a success.

6. In a huge team, it is mandatory that all the team members are on the same levels in terms of information knowledge and messages conveyed. In these scenarios, team meetings and discussions will help resolve misunderstandings and communication gaps. So to ensure the success in a team effort, the information needs to be effectively communicated to all the members. Oral communication followed by verbal communication will ensure that the information passed to all the members is same and accurate.

7. Job delegation and responsibility assigning is a frequently encountered act in organizations and teams. But if the job details are not effectively passed on, the work will not be completed satisfactorily and would cause failure of the job. Thus communication plays an important role again in this regard. Communicating the job details accurately is important and necessary so as to get the job done as per requirements.


Thus based on the above factors and discussions, we can conclude that communication is not just a necessary ingredient for success but is also needed for maintaining harmony and a peaceful professional relationship within the organization.

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So you think you are qualified for a particular job, fit to lead a team or the right candidate for a promotion, just because you have extensive experience or highly developed technical skills?  Well, apart from these elements for professional success, one needs to also have great soft skills,  also commonly known as “people skills.”

When employers say they are not able to fill up certain open positions it’s not because the candidate lacks technical skills or has inadequate professional experience. The major factor that contributes to this unfortunate instance is the absence of soft skills.  Believe it or not, most of the time this is the primary reason.

You as a job seeker are not the only ones to “face the music” – even if you are working, you will face difficulties in the office if your “soft skills” are not polished enough.  For example, if you have difficulty interacting with clients and with upper management becomes difficult.  If you can’t clearly communicate your ideas in an e-mail to your team or your boss.  These are just two of many examples of lack of soft skills that can deter your career progression.

Soft Skills: Why is it So Important?

Soft Skills can be the  hardest abilities to acquire. The reason behind that bitter truth is that there is a general perception in people’s minds that companies want technical skills first, rather than art of repartee or speaking capabilities.

However, this is not true anymore.   To succeed at work or in job search in today’s competitive market, you need to understand the importance of soft skills and know how to master them over time.   This is because in any job, you must collaborate with teams to get things done.  Moreover, there is more emphasis in being effective in meetings and client visits, all requiring soft skills like meeting management and networking skills. In these scenarios, if you have poor soft skills,  you will under-perform, no matter how technical smart you are.

As per research done by American Management Association published on “Wired,”  soft skills are a combination of four C’s- creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. If acquired, then you as a job seeker can more easily get job offers and you as an employee can attain new heights in your career.

Importance of Soft Skills for a Job Seeker

An interview, as a matter of fact,  is a showcase of your soft skills, especially your communication skills. To secure a job, it is important for you as an interviewee to clearly and effectively communicate your past accomplishments and experiences and why you are the best fit for the job.  Moreover, you must also be able to communicate how you can bring significant value to the organization.

Importance of Soft Skills for an Employee

Long after you get the job, soft skills, especially people skills continue to hold importance. Seen from a broader perspective, soft skills are easily transferable, and not developing them at an early stage can actually inhibit you from succeeding under your present employer,  or from  switching to another job. Strong soft skills can help you work well with others at any level.

Soft Skills Make Your Job Search & Job Effective & Successful 

Forbes says in one of its research on job that everything ranging from your cover letter to your resume should appear as if you, the job seeker is interacting with the hiring manager. As such , interviews should feel more of a witty conversation,  and this is possible if you have strong interpersonal and communication skills.

There is a difference between being talented and being employable. You can have great technical skills and command over your project intricacies,  but if you lack certain soft skills, such as ability to deal with difficult situations or personalities, then doing well at your job can be difficult.   Let us analyze two key soft skills.

Interpersonal Skills

This skill is everything when it comes to  talking with other people. If you have good interpersonal skills,  then participating effectively as a member of a team becomes easy. Well-honed interactive abilities can result in smoother communication with clients and colleagues,  leading to a better workplace environment.

Communication Skills

Companies are always looking for those of you who have good writing and speaking skills. For instance, it is not enough just to be book smart or have hard skills.  Companies looks for those of you who can build effectively relationships through both effective communication and interpersonal skills.  Those of you  who know how to get things done through working with others are the ones on the fast track for success.

What Employers Want In a Nutshell

Employers want those of you who can adapt quickly to any situation and work creatively with few resources to get things done.   At the same time, employers looks for those of you who are leaders – those who are willing to take initiatives and proactive look out for ways to solve problem and at the same time who can get along with anyone above and below them as well as cross functionally.

All these are examples of the importance of soft skills and how they can take you to great heights,  and inspire the companies to hire you or promote you.

The Bottom Line

The business world is all about interacting, so if you have effective soft skills,  then the sky is the limit. The employment market is fluctuating;  to stand out in this market really requires you to flex your soft skills like networking skills.  Whether you are a job seeker or have a job, constant efforts to improve your  soft skills can accelerate your path to success.