Gone are the days of IT professionals being known as introverts! Is this true?
Let’s get one thing clear here…is it an issue being an introvert? Of course not! However there are a number of traits or characteristics that define what an introvert is, so which characteristics/trait are we focusing on today?
Can’t say much about the past because it’s gone, and the future we don’t know, but definitely TODAY, it’s safe to say that it’s all about collaboration! And with many businesses now having offices located in different parts of the country (and around the world), it’s becoming even more important.
This isn’t just in the IT/Digital industry, clearly this is the same in any industry. It’s all about collaboration and being able to communicate effectively with each other! However given we specialise only in IT/Digital Recruitment, this article will be mainly focused around this industry.
There are so many channels/forms of communication including the very popular form these days of social media/messengers, WhatsApp, chats etc. All these are widely used in businesses to communicate reasonably effectively with each other, but let’s not forget the traditional Face to Face forms of communication - meetings, stand-ups, talking with your teammates/colleagues and managers (and not just messaging them!!), talking to customers, and presentations to clients and stakeholders!
In short, digital communication is great and widely used, but not the only form of communication. In fact, the Face to Face (and verbal) forms of communication are still critical in majority of businesses to function properly…AND you will agree…the same applies outside of work/business life as well!
“Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success.” Paul J. Meyer
This is very evident in the roles we are recruiting for (and has been for many years!), no matter if you are a recent graduate or a senior level IT/Digital Professional – almost all clients are focusing on candidates having excellent communication skills!
Is this ground breaking news for you? PROBABLY NOT! Then why write an article that everyone already knows about. EASY, because many businesses TODAY are still having issues with staff not being able to effectively communicate!!!
So why is this on-going issue…? SIMPLE – we are all different and unique in our own way…which makes us all special!
Will it continuously be an on-going issue…? Probably!!!
For many reasons including our up-bringing, our environment, our friends and family etc, as time goes on and through “experiences” of life, we develop various qualities, traits and characteristics. For this reason – communication skills vary as well from individual to individual. Everyone can communicate, some just better than others!
At the end of the day, though, it is still a SKILL! A SKILL can always be learnt…as long as you want to put in the effort to do so! Hence the choice is really yours! Just imagine, what affect this would have in your life both professionally and personally if you improved this skill? The confidence you would gain in your day to day living!
"Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life." - Brian Tracy
So, given that we live in a very creative, digital world…maybe there are creative ways of improving on this skill, and getting out of our comfort zone!
To start off with, let’s watch a wonderful TED video from few years back that is so relevant for today, which talks about “creative confidence” – Speaker being David Kelly:
In this video it highlights about people going through various past experiences, causing “fear of judgement”. He then continues talking about a well-known psychologist Albert Bandura and his method of “Guided Mastery”, leading to “Self Efficacy”. Basically it’s a step by step process taking people from Fear to Familiarity!
Therefore (going back to this article) to gain the skills of effective communication, we too need to go through a step by step process.
So, rather than making excuses (“Can’t Talk…I’m Busy”) and avoiding conversations (work and personal), or team meetings and stand-ups all because you have a fear about people judging you on what you say, it’s time to improve your skills and gain the confidence to voice your opinions and creative ideas!
"You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged." - Seth Godin
There are plenty of articles in the internet on how we can improve our communication skills, however if we want to be creative, think outside the square, (and remember we want to get out of our comfort zone), how about taking a course on public speaking! Plenty of research shows the benefit of public speaking including gaining self-confidence. There are plenty of options for you to take, including joining a local “Toastmasters International” club.
In conclusion, everyone can communicate, some just better than others, and it’s a skill that can be definitely improved. The choice is yours, and remember:
"The worst speech you'll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give." - Fred Miller
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