Significance of Communication Skills

Conversing and corresponding with people around is such a common activity that most of individuals are so preoccupied with their daily routine that they do not stop and ponder over the immense advantages that business enterprises can derive from mastering the art and science of communication. Following payoffs are only suggestive: (1) Communication is the life blood of an organization

Organization cannot function without people interacting, conversing or corresponding with one another. All enterprises require human beings working for it or with it, to:

  • Interact and react
  • Make assumptions about future or forecast future events  Plan or draw up a rough blueprint for the future
  • Organize / design a format of how to get resources together to achieve the plan
  • Staff or gather / recruit people and get them to desired locations
  • Lead or direct people, and devise their jobs so as to adhere to the plan
  • Exchange information, ideas, plans and proposals
  • Measure and monitor
  • Coordinate and control

Communication has been described as the „glue‟ that holds the entire organization together as one entity. Without communication, managers / leaders are not able to influence the attitude and behaviour of people to achieve the common objectives.

Internal communication

Before the end of nineteenth century, businesses were small; they started growing in size from the beginning of twentieth century. Contemporary business enterprises are very large and have not only become multinational but also transnational in character. Besides, they have grown in complexity in terms of a wide array of products and services they deal in and the number of countries and continents they are operating in. Also, arising from liberalizing of many national economies, global competition has intensified and the rate of change in market place has accelerated. Market forces have also become very dynamic, almost verging on chaos.

With business becoming very large in size, complex in nature and rapidly changing dynamics, enterprises must put in place effective internal communication so that every one can be kept informed of happenings within the large corporation. It is the only way managers / leaders can build understanding among people located in far off communities, countries and continents – stringing them together in to a beautiful necklace that everyone can be proud of.

External communication

As a business enterprise in the modern society, it has to interact, pro-act or react to happenings in other institutions viz.

  • Government bodies, statutory / regulatory agencies, municipal authorities etc
  • Distributors, dealers and retailers
  • Customers, community and society at large

Reputed organizations are concerned about their public image, goodwill and trust. In order to further reinforce their reputation, they participate in a number of activities:

  • Public speeches by senior executives
  • Tactful responses to comments and criticisms in the media
  • Preparation and distribution of informative pamphlets about the firm
  • Marketing communications or advertisement / publicity
  • Production and dissemination of product catalogues, videos etc

Because of their importance, these activities are centralized in the Public Relations and Corporate Communications department of large corporations. These activities have emerged as specialist skills of critical importance to the well being of the company. Successful messaging can:  Eliminate unnecessary correspondence

  •  Save time and expense
  • Build favourable impression in public mind
  • Enhance reputation and goodwill
  • Help increase company profits and profitability

Communication skills as vital job requirement

Human beings are communicating all the time. Ability to express powerfully and influence the attitude and behaviour of people for giving better performance on their jobs, has emerged as a job skill of critical importance for managers / leaders at all levels of management. Thus all employees are expected to:

1 Write good correspondence
2 Be good in oral conversation
3 Develop and cultivate powerful body language
4 Be able to sell ideas and products effectively
5 Be very good in weaning away customers from competitor and retaining them

It is now increasingly understood that even specialists like accountants, engineers, technicians etc should have good communication skills. In the present day knowledge society, competitive advantage of acquiring excellent communication skills cannot and perhaps need not be emphasized!

Communication skills essential for promotion
Communication skills have emerged as the most critical prerequisite for promotion to senior executive positions in the industry. Consequently, managers at lower rungs of organizations should also have good command over the spoken and written language of the business. As a general rule, managers should have the ability to make their communications heard, read or understood. Individuals who have had quick rise to senior level positions, attribute it to their being good in conversation and in articulating topical issues besides being very good in written communications – be it in writing persuasive letters or producing concise and compelling reports.

Communication skills aid problem solving
A person can become a good communicator only when he is a clear and systematic thinker. Acquiring effective communication skills adds to one‟s self esteem and confidence. This helps managers to be able to collect relevant information and get around people quickly that are essential
prerequisites for any problem solving effort.

Communication skills ignite enthusiasm
If a person is able to articulate viewpoint of the group he belongs to, it enthuses him because he becomes the automatic choice as their representative. The person becomes more spirited and involved and his group activities increase manifolds. People rally around such persons more readily and they progress in to more important roles.

Communication skills enhance motivation
People who have good oral or written communication skills usually develop into very good listeners. Listening to others leads to added learning that influences their attitude and behaviour. It goes a long way in re-orienting their mindset towards work and enhancing their performance. Such persons become more aligned to firm‟s objectives and are motivated to accomplish them.

Communication skills are advantageous in personal life
As private citizens, individuals take part in a lot of activities like sports, club work, social work, community work etc. People also participate in other social, cultural and religious activities. If they are good communicators, they get noticed quickly and can be appointed or nominated to many such activity groups. Before long, they become well-known and prominent member of the community. (10) Communication skills hone leadership traits

From the foregoing discussions, it is easy to understand that all leaders in business, industry or political arena, have notably better skills in communication. They are able to deliver informative and persuasive speeches to audience at large. They are able to draw up, compose and distribute most effective posters, banners and circulars. Thus effective communication skills propel them to positions of leadership. (11) Dividends from effective communication skills

Communication skills have come to be recognized as integral part of one‟s upbringing and personality. His choice of words and phrases and their use is quite unique to him and can directly give clues to his personality. In the
modern age of knowledge society when education, training and skills are being formally taught, communication skills have become of critical importance in every day life. It is said that it is no use having brilliant ideas if one cannot put them across properly, accurately and lucidly. Following illustration highlights the strategic importance of role and importance of communication skills: Effective Communications Enhance