As communicators, we must recognise that our roles require essential attributes including; active listening, empathy, curiosity, tenacity, analytical thinking, and creativity.

Today, I explore these essential skills. And This week’s episode relfects back on a Deep Dive with Jenni Field where we talked about the softer skills needed to make a great internal communicator – which I think actually are good skills whether you are internal or external.

Let’s dive in!

Links mentioned in this episode:

51. Deep Dive with Jenni Field

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Full Transcript (unedited)

As a communication professional, your technical skills will only get you so far. To truly excel in a busy comms team, you need the ‘softer’ skills that can make all the difference.

Jenni and I discussed on the episode a number of things but spent some time discussing skills and the softer skills that are needed to succeed.

We agreed that a well-rounded comms team may have individuals with different skills and aptitudes, including a creative analyst, a curious mind, and someone with deep empathy. Nonetheless, empathy stands out as the common thread among excellent leaders, communication specialists, and operations directors.

Empathy, for example, provides a true understanding of the effects of certain situations on others. Linked with integrity and open communication, it engenders trust when leaders meet their commitments or candidly explain why they can’t.

Jenni reflected on her work with managing directors, operations directors, and communications professionals reveals that empathy and the ability to adapt when things take an unexpected turn are the most necessary qualities.

In particular, in recent times, the pandemic has made us understand the importance of being genuine and sympathetic, and these traits have finally become the foundation of most organizations, providing ample opportunities for communicators to excel.

Here are six key takeaways from Chaos to Calm with Jenni Field on skills – check the shownotes for the full episode:

  1. Empathy: The most important skill is empathy. Understanding the impact on people who need to listen and demonstrating high integrity are vital components of being empathetic when communicating with your team.
  2. Active Listening: It’s crucial to be an active listener, paying attention to what people say and genuinely understanding their concerns.
  3. Curiosity: Stay curious when interacting with others – ask questions, seek knowledge, and always strive to learn more about the people you work with.
  4. Tenacity and Adaptability: Understand that things might not always go as planned, be willing to admit if something can’t happen, but continue putting people first.
  5. Creative Thinking: Aim to have a diverse team consisting of analytical and creative individuals who can bring various perspectives to problem-solving.
  6. Authenticity: Throughout the recent pandemic, being genuine and authentic has gained more significance. Displaying authenticity is essential for cultivating trust among colleagues and teams.