Business leaders are typically great communicators and this is the number one quality they looked for in future leaders. They also recognise and value this precious skill in others.
A great communicator is someone who is comfortable talking to anyone, anywhere in the world. Someone who could make things happen across international borders and cultural barriers, someone who could walk into a room anywhere in the world and fix a problem, delight a customer, secure a partner, or close a deal.
Lack of communication skills or Inability to interact, articulate or persuade can have immediate and potentially consequences for any business. The combined effect over time can be an eventual loss of competitiveness and a negative effecton the bottom line. At the personal and career levels, smart and talented people lacking these skills will find the odds stacked against them. But when outstanding communication skills are married with brains and talent, the sky’s the limit for career oriented persons.
What this means is communication is the single most important business asset, absolutely essential to any company that hopes to grow and prosper.
But technology is rapidly dumbing us down. It’s quietly alienating us from one another and robbing us of our precious and unique gifts of face-to-face direct human interaction. Technology is robbing us of this precious skill of communication. Nowadays we email, we text, we tweet, we socialise online.
Many of us don’t read as much, nor socialize the way we used to, nor value speaking skills the way we once did. All these are leading to the gradual loss of the art of conversation we once valued and cherished, and the steady erosion of our capacity to interact effectively at a very personal level. The more we rely on technology to do our talking for us, the more we can expect to see the costof that reliance in our business results and performance.
Excellence in business communications should be as routine as excellence in business performance. In successful corporations, communication is performance.
If you cannot communicate, then you cannot sell a product or service, command a room, run a meeting effectively, persuade investors, inspire employees, align team members, or compel key audiences. If you cannot communicate then it means that if you have a good idea, you might not be able to sell it. If you have a vision, no one will hear it. If you have a strategy, no one will follow it.
Unlike business people, politicians have long understood the value of leadership communications. In fact, word power is their entire stock and trade. Millions of people vote politicians who are able to articulate their vision and clearly define problems and solutions, simplify the complex, rationally debate any issue, This is not the kind of thing you can do with just text messages, e-mails, and tweets
Maybe business people should borrow from the experience of politicians. The question here is, can you walk into a room anywhere, anytime, and make things happen? Wonderful things unfold when people talk face-to-face in private offices, conference rooms, boardrooms, corridors, auditoriums.
It is time to capitalize on the huge added value that leadership communications brings to business proposition or transaction. We should not allow technology – the promise of this age, to rob us of this key skill.