Recent global research by Linked In, Duarte, Science of People, MIT Sloan and many others has uncovered that the human and behavioral skills formerly known as soft skills, are now the new Power Skills, most needed for individuals and organizations to thrive now and in the future.
Not surprisingly, communication, one of the most challenging Power Skills to master, surfaced as the TOP skill which all employees, but especially leaders need today.
It makes perfect sense.
Leaders with strong communication skills are highly successful in building strong relationships, preventing conflict and getting their messages across with clarity.
They are also good at driving change, motivating and inspiring others – abilities necessary for successful innovation, and collaboration across department lines to accomplish difficult tasks. They also know how to present themselves and effectively get their message across in both public speaking settings like group presentations, and while influencing people individually.
They are very effective in presenting their point of view and getting a buy-in for their ideas.
We know from research that by improving communication skills, you can improve employee engagement, teamwork, decision-making, and collaboration in your workplace.
A study by MIT Sloan, Boston College and University of Michigan found that Power Skills training focused on communication, decision making and problem solving yielded a 250% ROI in eight months showing tangible results in productivity, ability to perform complex tasks more quickly, better attendance, and increased retention during the training.
It is important to remember that communication skills come in a large package.
Communication skills include:
- Communicating well in person and in virtual / remote / online settings
- Ability to simplify and explain complex concepts
- Listening and empathetic communication
- Communicating to achieve alignment between stakeholders
- Handling difficult conversations
- Public speaking and telling compelling stories
- Tailoring content to different audiences and mediums
- Presenting, including presenting well in the virtual space
- Influencing others to change beliefs or behaviors
- Assertive communication
- Cross-cultural communication for VIMTs (Virtual, International, Multicultural Teams)
- Ability to give feedback successfully, also in VIMTs and diverse teams
- Facilitating meetings / discussions
- Cascading messages across the organization timely and clearly
As the nature of work keeps evolving, including a trend toward hybrid, the importance of frequent, transparent and skilled (virtual) communication, as well as listening and empathy has increased. Good communication can increase connectivity, reduce uncertainty, and facilitate problem-solving and innovation in an increasingly hybrid and unpredictable world.
Communication skills are the #1 set of skills required for professional success in 2022 and beyond. How proficient are you?
With leadership greetings,