From Maria Simpson’s Two-Minute Training listserv
In this digital world, the so-called “soft skills” are suddenly getting a lot of attention and being recognized as a key element of organizational development and improved performance.
While these may seem to be new ideas for organizations, the idea that communication ties us together is not new at all. In 1966 Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann published The Social Construction of Reality, which was groundbreaking. They contend that civilizations and cultures are constructed around the ideas that are communicated, repeated and agreed-to by members of a group, becoming over time “beliefs.” When people don’t agree and form their own beliefs or belief systems, they can become outcasts of that group and, perhaps, start their own group.
Communications draw us together or drive us apart. Effective communications are not casual; they are thoughtful, careful, and practiced. Thoughtful and respectful listening isn’t just a matter of nodding and saying “Uh-huh” while you think of your next clever response.
To be effective, communicators have to be adept in all the various media and formats, from conversations, to writing, webinars and digitization. And all these communications have to be used strategically. Of course it’s a big task, but the best leaders and most respected professionals have put the effort into learning how to manage the task and even harness its power.
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