My Global Career: Eight Steps to Make Communication a Vital Skill

The art of everyday communications should be every executive’s number one priority. Every statement and every communication must contain the elements connected to company success, including its values, motivation, goals and objectives. However, successful communication is not just about idea, it’s also about how it is said.

These eight steps will help you turn communication into a hot skill, pivotal to advancing both your career and your company’s agenda:

The first step for leaders is to constantly keep internal and external communication lines open. Quick and responsive replies to all queries will ensure that everybody is on top of the game and keeping evolving situations transparent.

The second step for leaders is to be their staff’s most valuable resource. This is done by having a constant open door so staff can feel comfortable to ask for help, share issues and problems and get advice in relation to their personalized tasks and roles.

The second step is about leaders being able to respond to all communications without interfering in their daily responsibilities. This can be done by prioritizing situations expressed in communications and practicing effective time management through vetting each communication on its individual merits.

The third step is enforcing corporate values and acceptable behaviors. This powerful tool cannot only address concerns but recognize the value of the communication and the person communicating it. It’s also a means of expressing appreciation and confidence in staff.

The fourth step is to remain focused on company/client communications through the feedback loop. This works by maintaning constant and open communications with each and every client. This level of communication accounts for the individual differences between clients. Its personalized nature improves retention and sustains the company’s advantage over competitors.

The fifth step is for companies to support their leaders in learning to communicate effectively. Not all leaders have fine-tuned communication skills. Some may need a coach or specialized training. Others may not feel comfortable making presentations, therefore requiring help in overcoming stage fright. However, if company leaders are not given the support they need, then the messages from the top can be lost or not communicated clearly to other staff.

The sixth step is overcoming resistance to communications improvement. It’s fundamental that every leader hones hiss/her skills in effective communications. Failure to do so will result in miscommunications, missed opportunitiies, customer/client/staff dissatisfaction and failure to meet objectives. If a leader refuses to cooperate, it may be become necessary to replace this leader with a new one.

The seventh step is providing communications training. Varied levels can be made available beyond the basics. This can include motivational speaking, public speakikng, media relations and effective listening/persuasion/influence. It mahy also be necessary to hire a communications specialist who will evaluate presentations and all other types of communications to see where the strengths and weaknesses lie. In turn, this person can advise, mentor and propose both changes and needed training.

The eighth step is to have a tam of communicators that can represent that company. They should be actively involved within the company and visible to others at all times.’s and Eons’ founder and CEO Jeff Taylor is very much aware of art daily communications. He accepted that communicating clearly so that all staff undersand the purpose and vision are critical to company success and continued profitability. Most improtantly, he recognized that the only way to pass on company messages is through all company leaders learning to communicate properly. In fact his understanding of my eight important steps in the art ofcommunications has helped him and his satff insure that this business clearly succeed.

Communications with any company is not only critical to the company’s success but an art form that cannot be ignored. Communicating daily is a top priority. Statements and other forms of communications must be directly linked to company objectives, goal, staff motivation and company values.

However, successful communications cannot be achieved simply by expressing an idea. How ideas are communicated can make or break a company. Open lines of communications must exist between leaders, staff, clients and customers. Leaders must also act as a resource for all staff, and enforce acceptable behaviors and transmit company values, and focusing on feedback from within and without the company must be maintained.

Most critically, companies must support leaders and staff in developing their communication skills. Such support has to include training, confidence in their abilities, effective communications and clearing out communications resistance. However, the best stratewgy is to create a confident team of well-trained communicators who can act as positive representatives for the company, both publicly and within company walls. With all these elements in place, success and communications become permanently linked.

Suzanne Bates, CEO of Bates Communications, is author of “Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Stategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!” (McGraw Hill 2009) and the best-seller “Speak Like a CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention and Getting Results.”  She also writes The Power Speaker Blog.

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