Word-Of-the-Week #618: Skills

June 9, 2016 by  

Skills – developed talents or abilities.

How effective are your communication skills? Do you have a good strong voice? Do you moderate your voice tone to keep your listeners’ attention?

This week comes from the LA Times article written by Career Coach Joyce E.A. Russell, “Communication skills a must–have.”

“Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive of Marriott International, recently shared his views on leadership, his company and what employers are looking for in their new hires at an event at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. In the discussion, he mentioned that one of the most important things employers look for in job applicants is something that has always been core: strong communication skills, both oral and writing.”

“If you’re a master at running a spreadsheet or a financial model, but really don’t have the ability to understand the assumptions that are in it or debate the assumptions in it then you’re not going to go as far as you could go otherwise,” Sorenson said.

“He said communication skills are fundamental in reaching an audience, influencing them and sharing your message. Having analytical skills are important too, but you still have to be able to articulate in a clear and concise manner. These skills have remained important over time for all workers, and he doesn’t think that will change any time soon.

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities

One of the most crucial communication skills is listening. You have to focus (eye contact, head nodding, asking questions) to really understand what other people have to say. Some people don’t know how to actually look at other people and give them their undivided attention, yet eye contact and demonstrating that you are truly paying attention to another person is pivotal to helping him or her feel heard. If you are fiddling with your phone, communication will break down.

When speaking, you have to have a good strong voice and moderate your voice tone to keep listeners’ attention. Sorenson emphasized that his experience as a trial lawyer probably helped him develop his strong speaking skills. You have to be clear and concise and get to the point quickly or you will lose your audience.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”

Practice with friends and listen to their feedback if they tell you that your oral communication skills need work. Have them listen to you on the phone or Skype to let you know how clearly you come across because these are often tools used for hiring.”

This week’s focus is on your communication skills. Are you able to articulate in a clear and concise manner? How effective are you in influencing others? When looking at another person do you give them your undivided attention? Stay tuned….more to come next week!

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