I think that in this day and age, if we have learned anything from our predecessors, it is without doubt the fact that we must be able to communicate. By this I mean communicate effectively. It doesn’t matter what the forum is, I think we must adapt to it, analyze it, form an opinion, be it based on fact or conjecture and finally, be able to state it properly. Orally or written, being able to make one’s point is crucial. I literally cringe when I’m in a conversation with someone and they fill their sentences with remarks such as, “you know what I mean”, or “you know what I’m saying”. To me, this denotes an inability to put their point across in a fashion that says, “I am a professional, I’m the one you want to do business with.” If you think about it, if I ask you do you know what I mean, am I not wasting my words already? Grammar is critical! In addition, I will not dumb down my skills in order to make my point. Some may say that by speaking or writing in such a manner that I only seek to intimidate. I beg to differ. Demonstrating and utilizing good communication, grammar skills as well as showing a command of the English language speaks volumes when it comes to either business or personal communication. It shows you took the time to learn. Professionalism should be second nature.
Every day, I see people in my industry struggle to find the right word. I see people try to use technical terms in a face to face conversation or on the phone desperately trying to impress the other person with their knowledge or grasp of the particular situation. Once in a while it works, but more often than not it fails miserably. What they don’t realize is that the other person they are speaking with, more than likely has as much technical skills and know how than they do. I can only guess how embarrassed they would be if they knew that the person they were talking with knew that , and was only humoring them to get it all over with, and end their conversation. These same people also commit what I think is a sin. They actually take the words of others, and claim them as their own. Doing this is very dangerous. You never know when someone is going to call you on it. Cite your source. If you can’t back up what you say, or explain it further, or for that matter explain it a different way, it becomes obvious that what you said is just a filler utilized in a desperate hope to remain in the conversation and somehow become relevant to it’s content .
The pitfalls of not being able to communicate properly are numerous. Aside from the fact that poor communication, grammar, and so on makes you look less valuable to your fellow workers, it also definitely makes you less valuable to your boss. Why would your boss want to put you in a position where you could speak for the company or even represent the company for that matter if you can’t communicate effectively? If by chance you’re in search of a new job or possibly just entering the work force the need to master these skills are even more important. Resumes, follow up letters, letters of intent, impact statements all must be worded so as to describe the level of your enthusiasm; the extent of your desire to become part of the team. To demonstrate the attributes you bring to the table. To be able to state your worth as a member of the organization you hope to join. Doesn’t the ability to communicate trump almost every other need as a must to master? In any position where one deals with the public, over the web, the airways, orally or with the pen, your stock goes up when you speak well.
While this may be only an opinion, I truly believe that without the ability to make one’s point effectively and demonstrate the skills necessary to go forward in a world that increasingly depends on a person’s ability to both speak and write with passion, commitment and command, is without a doubt one of, if not the most important skill that everyone should master. Taking the time to do it correctly only shows your desire to prove your worth…. Say it with words.