You Need to Communicate

Earlier this week, I noted that I had written my 200th article for this site, despite the fact that I’m not a writer. While in school, I always enjoyed writing, but I have never studied the art and science of communicating. In hindsight, this is regrettable, as I have discovered since graduating university that the skill most in demand is the ability to communicate effectively, in all forms.

Looking at every industry (I used a naughty word there – please forgive me for generalizing), there is the need for communication in one form or another. A graphic artist must communicate with her clients to understand their needs and wants. An employee must communicate with his manager to understand what is expected of him. A cashier must communicate with customers to ensure good service.

The form of communication, however, will differ from one area of life to another, from one type of work to another. What is perhaps a necessity in communication for one person could be of no use to the next person. A singer must be able to communicate through music, but this skill is not a requirement for a computer programmer such as myself. Reversing that, I must be able to communicate effectively through code, something a singer would perhaps find to be of no use to them.

Additionally, effective communication is needed in all directions. While a manager must be able to coordinate their team to bring success to their projects, requiring good communication skills, the various members of the team must also be able to communicate effectively. The reason for this is simple – not everyone can communicate effectively, but having a few individuals on a team who are able to communicate well can decrease the impact of the other individuals on the team who cannot.

In your field, what forms of communication are considered to be the most valued? Written? Oral? Some other form? What are you doing to increase the effectiveness of your ability to communicate?