This might sound familiar. You know your stuff… you might even say you’re the subject matter expert within your organisation. However, all this expertise and know-how doesn’t seem to bring you the results you’re after. This is because effective collaboration requires a lot more than just that. It requires good communication… the foundation for better results and working together successfully. ‘Communication spins the world’ says also Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Group.
According to Brian Tracy, a renowned leadership-guru, the ability to communicate determines 85% of one’s success in business and personal life. A research study of the Carnegie Institute of Technology supports this statement. It shows that 85% of someone’s (financial) success is achieved through effective communication, negotiation and leadership. Only 15% of the success is due to know-how and technical skills.
‘Communication facilitates human connections… it allows us to learn, grow and moving forward’, says Branson. ‘It’s not simply a matter of speaking or reading, but of truly understanding what is said – and in some cases what’s NOT been said. Communication is the most important skill that any leader can have.’ As far as we’re concerned this doesn’t just apply to leaders. Good communication is important for anyone who wants to be influential.
Making an impact
Influence is about engaging people and moving them towards your goal, with positive interaction at its core. Influence therefore is intertwined with your behaviour and your way of communicating. And that’s good news! For there are multiple communication styles that you can learn and make your own. Having an influence on others is not a god given quality, it’s not something only a special few can have… it’s not just for superstars.
In order to communicate effectively, and becoming more influential by doing so, you need to have insight and understanding of your own behaviour first. What’s the impression you make on others? How do they perceive you? And more importantly, what can you do to change any ineffective behaviour? You’ll become more influential when you’re flexible in different situations and conversational partners. The moment you learn how to apply different communication styles to whatever a situation requires, you’ll be more influential.
Anyone can learn this
The American legendary businessman Warren Buffet said it many years ago: ‘Without good communication skills, you’ll never be able to get people around you to march. Not even when those people can’t see over the top of the next hill, and you can.’
Anyone can learn to take a stand and clearly form an opinion, learn to support it with arguments, engage others and inspire people about what possibilities lie before them. Good communication is a skill that you can learn. So it’s up to you how high you set the bar for how influential you want to become.