You're smart, eager and technically prepared for your job. You have a great attitude and you want to grow professionally. You focus on improving every day.
In our 30 years at ERC, we have found that what stifles most professional growth is not the lack of technical ability, desire nor enthusiasm. It's the ability to communicate well in a variety of venues.
Communication has always been important – today it's vital! Here are just a few examples:
Presenting: Presentations are critical for success. The demand for our Executive Presentation Skills programs in English, Spanish and Portuguese has increased 200% over the last 3 years. We have adapted the content of our program to today's technological realities. In addition to standing and presenting in front of live audiences, professionals today need to virtually present and sell messages on conference calls. They need to handle videoconferences through TelePresence and other technologies. They must present to 5 critical decision makers or 5000 through video streaming, and many more in a recorded time-shifted format. This requires critical skills that few have learned.
Writing: The average professional today writes and receives many more documents than ever before. Emailing, texting, tweeting and posting are so prevalent in the work place today. One must write quickly, clearly and make an impact. All documents, even the simplest email, must have structure and clarity and convey the proper tone.
Everyone writes, however few write strategically. We have seen a sharp increase in the number of companies contracting our Effective Business Writing program.
Selling: Competition is fierce. The need to distinguish yourself from your competitors is critical. We market, we present, we try to convince and persuade. We present our arguments and highlight our benefits and features. Where most salespeople and consultants often fall short is in their ability to truly listen to their internal and external clients. Listening, and fully understanding, before proposing is the key. Most salespeople and consultants are not trained in the most important communication skill: Listening.
Negotiating: To reach a fair and positive agreement for all parties requires strategy and communication. One must strategically prepare prior to a face-to-face encounter and be able to communicate that strategy. Many believe that negotiating is an innate trait or they don't believe they can learn skills to enhance their abilities. For these reasons, they don't seek training. This leads to too many concessions or inflexibility. Either way, there is no win-win relationship. Excellent communicators in a negotiation reach faster and better agreements for all parties.
These are just a few examples of how the ability to communicate delivers professional growth and success. My message... read, train, develop and improve your communication skills!