Communication skills are vital in the way we lead and live our lives. The workplace needs effective communication too – and the rewards can be stunning.
For managers in organizations, the use of effective communication skills is the most likely activity to ensure success for their team.
It’s where a good manager needs to spend most of their time, in the conversations they hold, day-in, day-out with each of their people.
Conversely, where a manager is not blessed with the ability to connect particularly well with their people, there’s likely to be much damage done. Their people feel isolated, distrusted, demotivated and more.
When you try to evaluate in cold, hard cash terms what good communication skills are worth, it’s maybe not quite so easy. The numbers don’t tumble so easily out onto the bottom line like the sale of a product or service might.
That said, it’s there working for you all the time and possibly the most valuable asset you can have. The biggest margin of any of your products at all.
Still, the challenge is to understand better how you put an absolute value on:-
• Better relationships – where you interact closely with your people
• Understanding your people – so that you appreciate how to get the best from them
• Developing intuition – that helps you sniff out trouble well ahead of time
• Really listening – to show you care for and value their contribution highly
• Hearing the unsaid – that gives you inklings of where the conversation can go next
• Matching language so others understand – to make the most of everyone
• Clear messages – that they all ‘get’ and can work with, without frustration
• Few misunderstandings – so that what’s expected of them is always what’s done
• Better interpretation – demonstrating that you really know them – and them you
To name but a few, because the values of relationships that come from effective communication so consistently stretch across the whole area of people management, it’s hard to be comprehensive.
So then, this is all a bit of a minefield, especially when the bean-counters on the 11th floor want some numbers attached to the value of communication, as an area where you and your people need to develop.
Yet, instinctively, we just know that the best communication skills deliver the best results. It’s just a bit tricky to place a value on it.
And, we can all can reflect on experiences in the past, where something was misunderstood costing bottom line profit.
You see, getting communications right is a value-creating exercise, that is tricky to measure absolutely, and all the more important because of that.