There are thousands of books written about the subject of written and verbal communication skills.

Over time, some of the content changes because new communication technologies arrive and they impact the way we communicate.

Research

The importance of communication skills for career success became a subject of interest for me back in 2011 after conducting a small research project on the subject.

Using Seek.co.nz (New Zealand’s largest online job advertising website) I searched for ‘Manager’ positions, located anywhere in New Zealand, with a salary up to $200,000.00. This search produced over 5,000 vacancies. That’s significant for a country with a population of just 4.4 Million people.

Of the first 50 advertisements published, 26 of them requested ‘communications skills’. Comments such as, ‘excellent’, ‘outstanding’, or ‘highly developed’ were used to describe the level of skills required.

Other skills frequently mentioned were ‘leadership’ and ‘customer services skills’.

It’s important to note that it’s not just managers who need to have great communication skills.

Based on a range of surveys of top employers, the University of Kent advise their graduates that ‘verbal communication’ is the number one skill employers want. Written communication coming in 7th place behind teamwork, commercial awareness, problem solving, initiative/motivation, and drive.

How good are your communication skills?

Check out this Ted Talk about the importance of listening…

Communication Skills Ted Talk

10 ways to have a better conversation
When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

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