One of the things my wife and I are really big on is teaching our children is good communication skills.
Last week I came across this hilarious skit of Will Ferrel on the Jimmy Fallon Show. If nothing else take a look at it for just how clever Will Ferrel is. The guy is a comic genius.
However there are people out there with communication skills not too dissimilar to the above video. They have intelligence, but they have no people skills. They have no filter. They say whatever is on their mind, they talk over the top of people. Their conversation is one-way in that they can talk all about themselves, without even drawing breath to ask the other person about themself.
I am pretty sure that all of my children won’t be brain surgeons, (well, two out of the four better be, or they’re out of the family. Just joking!) but one thing we can teach them is good communication skills.
I have done a lot of employing over the years and as such I have sat through a lot of interviews. And while competence at the job being advertised is of importance, I am really looking for people who can talk well, carry themselves well, relate well with others, and have that emotional intelligence. I can train them on the rest, but as a base line they need their personality skills in place to be part of a team.
The workplace and the marketplace is about buying and selling. Accordingly it is about people being able to communicate well so that they can not only do their job effectively, but be a part of a harmonious workplace.
A good communicator is always in demand. It is a personality trait that will keep you in employment. And don’t even get me started on the potential you have if you can lead people… However I am not talking about charisma here, but rather just good communication skills. We all know people with the gift of the gab; those life of the party people that everyone loves. You don’t have to be that person; you just need to be polite.
So do a bit of an audit on your personality. Are you friendly? Do you look people in the eye when you’re talking to them? Can you give them a firm handshake? Can you ask questions about them so you can hold a balanced conversation? Do you know how to bite your tongue so you don’t create friction everywhere you go? Do you say please and thank you? Can you accept criticism? Do you have a personality where people genuinely like you, or do you seem to be able to rub people up the wrong way?
This is all simple stuff, but simply teaching these skills to our kids – and potentially ourselves first – will go a long way to helping them long past their school grades are required to open doors.
Matt Danswan is the CEO of Initiate Media, publishers of My Christian Daily. He Also blogs at www.mattdanswan.com. His new book, Not Business As Usual, due for release in March 2018 and published by Ark House, can be pre-ordered now.