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We Need to Talk

Spoken or written, communication skills are more vital than ever

➔ There was an iconic line from the movie “Cool Hand Luke.” It went something like this, “What we have here, is failure to communicate.” It’s a line that has been referenced many times in many situations and never has it been more apropos than in today’s job market.

There are a great many job descriptions that call for “good communication skills.” Fair enough. But what precisely does that mean?

Can you hear me now?

In the world of the third decade of the 21st Century, we are constantly bombarded by an avalanche of messages. From online ads to fake news, will it ever stop?

It would seem however that employers put a high premium on “good communication skills.” Of course they never really spell out exactly what they mean. Do they expect you to write like the next Hemingway? Do they expect you to wow everyone in the board room with a dazzling oral presentation? It’s difficult to say.

It’s safe to say that a certain level of communication skills are vitally important in today’s workplace. The big question is: do you have what it takes when you’re called on to meet those minimum standards? Who can tell?

More important, how can you find out? The best place to look is to the people around you. Friends and family are good, but will they give you an honest assessment, or will they tell you what they think you want to hear?

Former co-workers and colleagues more than likely will provide a fairer review. After all, they’ve probably observed your work-related skills over time.

An excellent source would be a recruiter or job coach – if you’re working with one. They are in the best position to give you an accurate critique. After all, they have a vested interested in making certain that you’re going out into the job market with your best foot forward.


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