Would you like to make more money? Dumb question, right? Well, let me ask you this, what are you doing to set yourself up to earn that promotion? If you’re not working on your communication skills, that promotion may not be in your imminent future. Research shows that the better you are at communicating, the more likely you are to be promoted:
“In 2010, a Korn/Ferry study conducted at McGladrey -- a national consulting firm -- assessed the capabilities of employees classified as high potentials as assessed by their managers. The top five items were communication-related. The ability to convey ideas and information accurately and effectively, along with the ability to influence and persuade others, are key attributes of employees who successfully move up in an organization.”
Communication skills? Who would have thought!? Being able to explain how or why something is important is as vital as discovering how or why it is important. Think about it: if you build the greatest widget in the world, but can’t explain how it works or why it’s important, what good is it? Furthermore, how many times in the workplace are we faced with unclear documents that force us to a) spend more time than we’d like revising; b) ask the writer for clarification; or 3) re-read multiple times to the point of aggravation and frustration? For many of us the answer is, “More often than I’d like!”
The needless time we spend revising, asking for clarification, and re-reading results in lost time, money, and resources, so it’s no wonder that clear communication skills are so valued in the workplace—it makes us and our workplace more efficient.
The principles of clear communication aren’t difficult; the reality is, however, is that too many professionals have no strategy in place to write clearly. Sometimes they simply don’t know how to enhance their writing and communication skills, don’t believe it’s important (they adhere to the mantra “[insert name here] will know what I mean”), or believe that time spent writing is wasted (the idea is that “So-and-so will edit it anyway”). But as the Korn/Ferry study shows, taking the time to better your communication strategies can make a huge difference in how quickly you move up the corporate ladder.