Doctor’s need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine. But to be a good doctor your expertise really can’t end there. You need to understand people and be sensitive and kind in your bedside manner. And it would probably behoove you to have some business sense if you ever decide to open your own practice. While you might be able to get along without these skills having them certainly helps.
I think most professions are like this. There are the requisite skills that you absolutely must have to perform the job, but there are countless other nice-to-haves that will make you much more effective. And I think there are some skills that are helpful no matter which profession you choose.
Of course, I’m gonna tell you that communication is one of those nice-to-haves no matter who you are or what you do. And I truly believe that. I think everyone will at some point in their career need to communicate an idea to their customers, managers, or colleagues. And it’s probably best not to wait to develop communication skills until you need them.
What are you doing to improve your communication skills right now? Even if you were a great communicator once, you can’t just let those skills sit on the shelf and expect to dust them off and use them effectively later. If you’re not working to improve them, they’re going to atrophy just like a muscle.
Work on your writing and written/verbal communication skills, and work on visual communication, too. In today’s world of Photoshop and ubiquitous HD video, the ability to communicate in images is increasingly in demand and certainly helpful. And also work on your oral communication skills. While you might be able to send a memo or spreadsheet to your boss to communicate your new idea, almost all big decisions get made based on a face to face conversation or presentation.
The time you spend becoming a more effective communicator will pay off. It’s an investment in yourself and in your future.
Do you have a story of how communication skills gave you an edge in your personal or professional life?