Essential Skill #1 - COMMUNICATION
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw
It’s interview season, at least in higher education. And while our education and technical skills are really important, no one has ever asked me for my GPA in any interview I have ever been in.
Instead employers are more interested in what I call Essential Skills or what most of us know as soft skills. But make no mistake, there is nothing soft about communication, team work, critical thinking, civility or wellness. Over the next 5 PMMs, I’ll be focusing on each of these to help you make power moves during interviews and on the job.
Be sure to visit powermovemonday.com now to get to become a power player in the first essential skill – Communication. See you there!
I know that there are a ton of things about communication out there. And perhaps what I have to say isn’t so new. But it all bears repeating
There are 3 types of communication:
- Oral communication
- Written communication
- Body language
There’s no way I’ll get to the down and dirty of each of these in a few minutes. But let’s talk power moves for each of these really quickly.
- Oral communication is what I’m doing in the PowerMove videos. Maintain eye contact, keep a confident tone and try to watch your uptalk. We women need to be especially careful about this bc people are watching for it, but men do it too.
Here are some examples of uptalk.
I have this great idea. I think we should implement it?
I want to propose something to you?
You might as well say: Pretty please, may I? Are you asking me or telling me. Don’t end a statement as if it’s a question or on a high inflection.
Listen, I’m guilty of it at too and I’m working really hard to remove it from my own style. You might even hear it here. Bottom line, we have to work on it. It makes us sound less confident and less assertive. That’s the last thing we want to come off as.
One other thing about oral communication….Remove the umms, uhhs, likes and right? From your speaking. It takes practice. It takes thought. But you can do it.
Written Communication is so important. No one is asking for a well constructed sentence on Instagram or Twitter. But like anything else, proper writing has its place. It can mean the difference between your resume and cover letter landing in the yes pile or the no pile.
Grammar counts. Spelling counts. Attention to detail counts.
I have reviewed thousands of resumes in my career. I have even chaired a search committee that yielded over 500 resumes and yes I looked at all of them. The moment I found a run on sentence, a misspelled word or a typo, that applicant went straight to the no pile. It’s competitive out there and you need every edge you can get. If you can’t write a proper English sentence, then work with someone to edit your written work or really take some time to reeducate yourself on the difference between its and it’s. Things like that are important and signal your ability to pay attention to detail or not!
My pet peeve? Brang and brung! #grammargeek
Last but definitely not least is body language. There are 3 things that can happen when you walk into a room.
- No one notices you
- Everyone notices you for the wrong reasons and tries to avoid you
- OR Everyone notices you, parts the way for you to get by and wonder who you are and how they can get to know you.
If you are listening to these power moves every week, my guess is that #3 is the way to go.
Networking has become such an important aspect of moving up in our careers that your body language can make you or break you. I’m not just talking about arms crossed or holding your chin with your hand. I’m talking about your strut, your eye contact, your handshake (firm – not flimsy or bone crushing) and your attire. All of these things, like it or not, can matter based on your industry. And all of these things can be managed while staying authentic and true to yourself.
Still not sure how about how to make this work for you? Contact me about my group coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. You got this! #powermovemonday #solutionsnotresolutions