Top 10 Communication Skills?
Recently I read an article on BNET by Steve Tobak that talked about how to be a good manager. Steve mentions the importance of being adept at five things: finance, selling, presenting, negotiating, and business communications.
I thought his grouping was odd. Why did he separate business communications as a separate category? To me, business communications includes selling, presenting, and negotiating. But it ALSO includes networking, conflict management, team building, and perhaps even interviewing.
Then just today, I read this list of critical business communication skills from Joey Asher. His list is as follows:
- Give a persuasive 10-minute presentation. (Presenting)
- Deliver an elevator pitch for your business, division, project, etc. (Selling)
- Make a cold call. (Selling)
- Report out on a project with no preparation. (Presenting)
- Deliver bad news. (Presenting / Selling)
- Answer a question in a way that inspires confidence. (Presenting)
- Build a relationship through listening. (Networking / Selling)
- Tell a story. (Presenting/ Selling)
- Rebut an objection. (Selling)
I added the categories to match Steve’s (and my) breakdown. When I commented on Joey Asher’s blog I mentioned that I would have added a few more onto his list. Joey’s list seemed more specific than Steve’s.
So I would have added:
10. Interview people
11. Negotiate a contract
12. Motivate others
13. Manage conflict
and I also suggested modifying his first point
1. Deliver engaging, concise, and compelling presentations
But after thinking about it some more, I think I would suggest that the core communication skill required to be effective in business is the ability to inform, persuade, and motivate others in an authentic and engaging manner. To me that includes all of the ideas that both Steve and Joey mention.
To me the bottom line is this…communication skills are the most critical skill to the success of any professional.
Did we miss any? What do you think?