Communication Isn’t a Soft Skill

I’m rethinking what this blog might be. I love writing for you, and I’m curious about what you find interesting and useful. Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts were new ones, and today’s is a rerun.

If you have ideas about what you’d like to see in this space, please drop me an email!

What does it mean when we categorize some skills as “soft”? 

The phrase “soft skills” implies something we can do without. When push comes to shove, we can overlook a lack of one of these “extras” because this person’s CV tells us they can “get the job done.”

But communication isn’t extra.

Communication is everything.

Let’s say you hire the person with the great CV, and it turns out that they are a bad, or even a mediocre, communicator. What’s that going to mean?

They will miss opportunities to connect with valuable stakeholders. They may fray relationships. They will make assumptions that lead to lost time and money. They will send unclear messages to others. 

The job they are supposed to be so good at getting done will be stymied at every turn because they send cryptic emails, or don’t mention something they need, or are uncomfortable delegating, or don’t know how to encourage participation in a meeting. You may discover they can’t go on client calls because they’re gruff, or too talkative, can’t read the room, or are bad at presentations.

Communication is how we get things done. It’s crucial to our success.

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