Communication skills development is a lot like yoga.
For anyone that goes to yoga classes or practices at home, you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about. For the rest of you, maybe communication skills development is like playing a musical instrument or even a sport.
Yoga requires you to put yourself in uncomfortable positions and breathe through the discomfort. Depending on how your body is built, some positions may come easier to you than others. It’s the difficult ones that require practice. And if you’re only doing the easy “asanas” then you’re never going to become a master yogi.
Playing a musical instrument takes regular practice and commitment. To become truly proficient, strength and dexterity must be cultivated in the fingers, or if you’re a singer or wind instrument player, you must master the ability to control your breath. For sports players, it’s not just about playing the game. There’s the early morning or late night practices, the laps around the field, time spent in the gym, even diet, to consider.
Communication skills development, like the activities mentioned above, takes commitment, regular practice and a willingness to work on all aspects of the skill set, not just only one or two that you find easy. For today’s professionals, it’s too easy to take a ‘set and forget’ approach to communication. In other words, “I took a course last year, so now I’ve got it all covered.” That would be like a footballer saying, “I went to a couple of practices last year, so I’m all good this year.”
In today’s volatile corporate world, this is a huge mistake. Learning and development professionals must educate stakeholder that, when it comes to effective communication, they need to take a lifelong commitment to learning if they want to succeed. To be a great communicator, you must keep stepping outside of your comfort zone with communication skills courses.
Why communication skills development is a lifelong learning journey
Communication is a skill set, not just a single skill that you either have or don’t have. It takes practice and commitment and can be applied in a variety of scenarios.
You could be a brilliant presenter but choke when you’re put on the spot in an interview. Maybe you’re a genius at pitching and selling but you can’t run an effective meeting. Or perhaps you’re confident and capable in one-on-one situations but speaking to a group sends you into a panic.
The types of scenarios vary widely in which good communication is needed; from business negotiations to team meetings, presentations to the board to presentations to customers, managing up, managing down, online, offline, face to face, over the phone, in writing, even virtually.
And that’s before we even look at the different outcomes you want to achieve with your communication: inspire, console, motivate, encourage, reassure, the list goes on.
It stands to reason that such a complex skill set used across such a broad spectrum of situations should require regular practice, dedication, reflection, analysis and further refinement. That’s why we offer a variety of training programs – to support your ongoing communication skills development.
Ways to improve communication skills
1. Job interview training
Our job interview training is designed to prepare and support you for every stage of the interview process: application – preparation – interview – follow up. The communication tools and techniques shared during the interview training course are tailored to the specific scenario of job interviews. For example, participants receive:
- 6 months of 24/7 access to 5 online modules of interview training
- A customisable CV that can easily be tailored to any job
- A best practice cover letter that can be modified and used whenever required
- A process to catalogue your own personal achievements
- Guidance to build your own inventory of personalised, compelling stories
- Practice video that test you on the spot
- A customisable thank you letter for you to personalise
2. Business storytelling training
To go deeper into the storytelling aspect of communication and how to use it to motivate, engage and change the behaviour of your audience, our persuasive storytelling training is ideal. 100% online, this course has been designed for any professional that wants to increase their influence and master business storytelling. The 6-week course dives into the specifics of how to:
- Construct a story for maximum impact
- Deliver a story so it’s compelling
- Make storytelling a business asset
3. Online and virtual communication training
Finally, our mastering communication online course is essential for anybody working with dispersed teams looking to communicate with confidence and build executive presence. This 9 module course will teach you to:
- Diagnose your audience and their needs
- Design your communication to be compelling
- Deliver communication in an engaging way
- Deliver communication with impact
- Nail the opening and close of your presentations
You’ll also get loads of bonus content to help you with any specific issues.
Make a commitment to lifelong communication learning today
How many of the above components of communication would you say you’ve mastered? What about your colleagues? We all have a “comfort zone” – even when it comes to communication – but when we’re operating within it, we’re not improving.
The first step in developing communication is in understanding that it needs continuous work throughout your career. Together, we need to be at the forefront of a radical executive learning culture. If you need help getting buy-in for ongoing learning and development, get in touch.
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.
What is communication skills development?
Communication skills development is the lifelong activity of regular practice, dedication, reflection, analysis and further refinement of effective communication skills.
How to encourage communication skill development?
The first step is understanding just how important communication skills are in today’s work world. The complexities of technology and remote working have made the continuous upskilling of communication a necessity, not a nice-to-have. Use statistics and facts when advocating communication skills development. You can also use our testimonials.
How to measure communication skills development?
Surveys and focus groups are one way to measure development. You might also consider the KPIs of the particular scenario for which the communication development is needed. For example, if the development is for a sales team, you might look at uplift in sales.