Anything you do beyond living the life of a hermit will require you to communicate with another person or a group of people. In order to successfully accomplish this task, you must be able to put words and phrases into sentences and add the right nonverbal signals to transfer an idea or concept from you to the other person. Also, you must be able to receive the other person’s verbal and nonverbal signals to get a clear message from them. These are not always easy to do because barriers get in the way. People are not always eager to hear what you think and sometimes, you don’t care what they think. Sometimes, because of the differences in your backgrounds, people can easily misunderstand or misinterpret what you say. Attitudes influenced by anger, emotion, and traditional thinking can prevent the successful transfer of information. Some people have big egos and no matter how much convincing evidence you present, they do not see things your way. Language, with its semantics, homonyms, and jargon, can sometimes be a great deterrent to effective communication.
In spite of all these barriers, there is still hope. Communication can be as easy as 1-2-3:
(1) Identify and understand the problems and barriers that tend to preclude effective communication.
(2) Develop some strategies that will overcome the barriers and solve the problems.
(3) Practice the strategies until you become an effective communicator.
The best investment you can make in a successful career is to enhance your ability to communicate. Success hinges on your talent for relating to others, listening and understanding what others are saying, recognizing the value in other people, and communicating value back to them, all while keeping emotions intelligently in check.
All the technical knowledge and expertise in the world is worthless if no one knows what you’re saying. So whether you’re leading a team, writing a report, delivering a presentation, or managing an entire organization, your ability to communicate and build strong interpersonal relationships is the key to reaching your highest potential.