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Improve Workplace Communication Throughout my more than two decade tenure as an executive coach and vice president inside Corporate America, I have seen millions of dollars senselessly lost merely due to ineffective communication. It’s imperative for achievement-oriented professionals to communicate well in all aspects of their job, as doing so can be the key to cutting through the bureaucracy of an organization and taking control of one’s career as opposed to feeling like a victim of circumstance. Mastering even a handful of skills, such as those cited above, can help professionals better negotiate their way through the proverbial career maze with speed, dexterity and accuracy. Because modern workplace dynamics have become so complex, leaders have less time than ever to spend coaching and mentoring employees, and to benefit from such guidance for their own professional gain. In addition, universities systematically churn out graduates who have learned black and white technical skills and theoretical concepts, but not how to aptly prepare for, and traverse through, the inevitable “Gray Area” of a company — the environment and culture that manifests from the multi-faceted challenges and forces an organization faces. The result is a glut of entry-level and entrenched professionals who are unprepared, unequipped and unable to effectively communicate in a way that will productively impact their career While an intangible, the Gray Area is a very real phenomenon driven by human nature, internal and external politics, industry guidelines, company protocols and market pressures, among other factors. Interactive The importance of learning how to effectively communicate within this ambiguous environment cannot be understated. Too many in our nation’s workforce, both employees and executives, are ill-equipped to engage with an audience — any audience — with ease and intention, which is keeping them from realizing their full potential and attain a maximum measure of success. With this in mind, here are 4 tactical tips to help professionals at every level become a more effective communicator and, in doing so, gain better control of their career trajectory: • Become the “Universal Translator.” The most valued and successful person in any business is the one who can translate facts, figures, and concepts into actionable ideas that will not only make sense and resonate with their direct network, but also with any and all constituents those ideas will be presented to. This includes superiors, subordinates, peers, customers, prospects, business partners and vendors. The Universal Translator does the following: Steps out of their comfort zone or discipline; lets go of any insider department lingo or technical terms and focusses on the audience at hand; suggests specific ways others can move forward with the information relative to what is important to them; and presents the vision, plan or theory in a way that is clear, crisp, confident and above all, ACTIONABLE. This person is successful because of their ability to translate complex or technical concepts into strategic steps that will impact the bottom line. If others can understand, relate to and rally around what you are presenting, it is sure to yield winning results. 4 ways By Vivian Ciampi sales and service excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 03.2015 Submit your Articles 1151


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