Professions that require highly developed communication skills
o matter what your profession, everyone needs to continually improve their communication skills if you want to truly excel. However, recently I was asked to speak to several different professional conferences to share insights to improve their skills specific to their industry. While researching the industries, I found there is currently an awakening in certain fields and a realization of how crucial communication skills are for advancement. Years of industry-specific studies and accreditations often leave professionals lacking in the area of communication skills because it is not where focus is placed. However, research indicates clarity, conciseness, listening skills, empathy, the ability to develop rapport and manage professional relationships are fundamental for effectiveness.
Here are two industries and one position where reports are driving awareness and calling for more intentional development of wholistic communication skills.
Medical doctors and supporting staff: The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research published a study that concluded communication skills are the need of the hour. Medical doctors who lack the ability to proficiently communicate with their patients and their supporters are the reason for the surge in medical law suits. Listening skills, empathy, body language and choosing your words carefully play a significant role in patient satisfaction. The way a doctor communicates with their patient can also affect the patient’s response to treatment, adherence to prescriptions and recovery. Communication is the vehicle through which a patient determines the quality of their care. A physician’s ability to help patients understand their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, their capacity to deliver bad news, all while conveying they care, is said to be equally as important as their medical knowledge. For health professionals, intentional communication skills create better outcomes, help build rapport, instill trust, help to ease tension and increase perceived quality of care.
Internal auditors: The Managerial Auditing Journal published a study that determined, “Internal auditors need to possess excellent communication skills in order to succeed and advance in the changing, complex international global marketplace.” Almost every interaction in an auditor’s day-to-day tasks requires efficient communication skills. To truly bring value to their position, they must possess highly developed listening skills, the ability to clearly convey their ideas, be persuasive and succinct. The way they interact with auditees determines the cooperation they receive, which affects their ability to effectively gather and decipher information. Internal auditors must convey independence while establishing good working relationships with those they are charged to audit. It is a balancing act they may not have learned while preparing for their professional examinations.
Team management: If you manage a team of any size, results will depend on your ability to communicate. The most effective leaders are not necessarily those who understand the processes, but those who know how to manage people. Many leadership communication courses teach technique without helping participants to be introspective and understand what messages they may communicate inadvertently. Effective leadership is about highly developed interpersonal skills paired with intentional communication. Studies have shown those who master the ability to galvanize and inspire their team are able to achieve greater productivity.
If you are in any of these areas and would like information on available coaching or training for you or your team, send me an email for further information.
• Kim Welcome is the CEO and founder of Influential Voice. She assists businesses and professionals to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication skills to increase their impact and influence. Her clients range from the country’s largest and most prestigious employers to public figures and individual professionals. Feel free to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.