Are communication skills critical in business? These days it seems that texting may have killed vocal skills but where does that leave businesses?

There was a time not long ago when written and verbal skills were considered critical skills for success in business.

There is a significant portion of today’s workforce that would be happy sitting in their cube communicating by email, instant messaging, and texting using as few words, and as few characters as possible.  Given the choice, many would communicate critical business information using nothing but short text messages and emoticons to express the extent of their joy or frustration.

The problem is that sometimes, these people actually need to talk to other people, and in the scariest of situations, deal with them face-to-face.

A Google search about the “degradation of the english language” produces hours of reading about how the English language is being polluted and convoluted especially buzz words and cliches that are so over used that they become meaningless.

Beyond the degradation, a quick survey of the staff at most businesses will show a significant percent of the staff who have difficulty articulating their ideas verbally. The reasons for these difficulties are wide and varied including:

  • Shyness
  • Fear
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of understanding the material or information related to their work
  • Apathy towards the work, co-workers, or customers
  • Inability to formulate a clear and concise verbal message
  • Lack of skills to speak to others effectively

In any of these situations, sending a quick text seems like a good way to “communicate” but it is done at the expense of effective communications.

Do you want to improve the overall performance and results in your business?  Take a look at the communication skills of your team and you are likely to find significant opportunities for improvement that will have a direct impact on the bottom-line.

To build effective communications in your organization it is important to help your team develop in four areas:

  • Attitude
  • Understanding
  • Critical Thinking (before they speak)
  • Verbal Communication Skills

Take a couple of hours this week and just listen.  Listen to conversations in every area of your business and consider how much more effective your team would be if development time was spent on the four areas above.