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The #1 Criteria for Advancement

#effectivecommunication #leadershipdevelopment #leadershipeffectiveness Apr 11, 2023

According to Harvard Business Review, the #1 Criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is the ability to communicate effectively. And, looking at the results of hundreds of Leading Managers 360s (a multi-rater assessment tool) reinforces this.  When asked to pick the top five most important leadership competencies for participants, “Encourages and Models Effective Communication” is nearly always one of the five (out of 15 skills measured).

What makes communication so challenging?  Getting your message across and ensuring that people heard it in the way you intended has multiple component parts. At a minimum, here’s what going on in the exchange:

  • What you think you said
  • What you actually said
  • What the other person heard
  • What you think the other personal heard
  • What the other person things about what you said
  • What you think the other person things about what you said

…and so forth.  No wonder effective communication is so elusive.

When you think of the leaders in your organization, how do they measure up? Consider these seven factors that are measured in the LM360 assessment and score yourself – and others – on a scale of 1 to 5:

  1. Expresses ideas fluently and eloquently.
  2. Clearly articulates even the most complex concepts.
  3. Tailors communication based on other's needs, motivations, and agendas.
  4. Listens to individuals at all levels in the organization.
  5. Prevents unpleasant surprises by communicating important information.
  6. Encourages direct and open discussions about important issues.
  7. Involves others before developing plan of action.

It’s a tall order. Not only does effective communication require clarity of expression, but also an understanding of the needs of others, the ability to listen, and the need to be proactive and inclusive in both gathering and sharing information.

Where do you and the other leaders in your organization need some improvement?  Investing time and attention to increasing communications skills pays off because not only is it most important for professional advancement, but it also benefits team and organizational dynamics. Gaining commitment and buy-in from team members, and getting people aligned around the organizations goals and priorities requires effective communication.

If you or your team can benefit by improving communications skills, let’s talk.



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