Communication as a Power Skill

This post was written by Lauren St. Germain, Facilitator and Coach for The Latimer Group.

Here at The Latimer Group, we live by the idea that communication skills should no longer be considered a “soft skill.” We believe that communication is a “power skill”, and earlier this year, McKinsey & Company helped prove this to be true with some of their latest research.

In June 2021, they released an article summarizing 56 “foundational skills that will help citizens thrive in the future of work.” Among those skills was communication (we’re not surprised!), and with it, a subset of a few more specific communication skills where employees should focus their development. Below are the four communication specific skills from their study and some simple techniques you can employ today to start to develop each. 

  • Storytelling and public speakingOur stories are what help connect us to one another. Practice infusing yours with details and use emotion to relate better to those you’re speaking with. This is how you develop influence and strengthen relationships. 
  • Asking the right questions – The best way you can develop this skill is to stay curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of yourself and others. When in doubt, you can always default to the basics of who, what, where, when, why and why not. 
  • Synthesizing messages – The message is at the center of all communication, and one of the key skill areas that we teach and coach on. To build a strong message, first understand your end goal and then determine the critical pieces of evidence you’ll need to pull together to help make your message clear and persuasive. 
  • Active Listening – We know that the best listeners are those that create an active listening plan. Respect the speaker’s time by being present and prepared, remember what is being said by taking notes and staying engaged and complete a review after the fact to clarify next steps and summarize what you heard.

We have always been passionate about teaching and coaching others to become more persuasive communicators and this information only confirms how important it is for you and your career. Which one of the four skill areas above could you focus on as you become a more persuasive communicator?

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

We transform teams and individuals with repeatable toolsets for persuasive communication.
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Lauren St. Germain

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.