Communication skills are perhaps the most important assets a leader can possess, not only in business but in any other field too.
In 2014 an independent advisory body headed by Professor Sir Roy Anderson concluded that there needed to be more emphasis upon, “team working, emotional maturity, empathy and other interpersonal skills” in secondary education in the UK. In my opinion the need for interpersonal skills training is almost universal as so few people have been taught to listen, how to engage people, and how to communicate cohesively and in a style that is appropriate for their surroundings.
So much of what Roy Anderson would like to see taught in our schools is usually left to individuals, and often this is the case in business. Sure, as grown-ups we might think that we were never taught interpersonal skills and we got on just fine, but think how much better we’d be at it, and how much quicker we’d have built our emotional intelligence, with some structured guidance.
Communication is the language of business; it won’t help if there’s no organisation or tangible product or service of course, but it is the delivery system for everything we do. It is vital to keep things flowing, however it needs to be effective and two-way. There’s no point in giving a wonderful presentation to a room full of people who aren’t listening; a leader can’t just be a good communicator if a business or organisation is to succeed; his or her team need interpersonal and communication skills too.