Powerful Communication

Soft skills, like communication, determine 85% of job success, which is why Dr. Ali Atkison, a keynote speaker and trainer, uses brain science to help people improve the way they communicate.

Ali breaks down the importance of being conscious about the way we come across, be it digitally, in written form, or in person. You’ll learn techniques on how to bring more clarity to your communication and ways to drive home the importance of what you expect from your team.

Truth You Can Act On

1. Be Conscious in Your Communication

Your communication is your brand regardless of the medium, the context, or the platform you’re using. And if you think about it, most people only know you by your digital communication. So you have to realize that how you communicate each and every time reflects you and your brand to the other person. That’s why I’m trying to get people to reframe how they think about communication and realize that every single interaction matters, whether it’s an instant message or a formal presentation.

2. Prioritize Communication Training

Harvard University and Stanford Research Center both did studies that essentially found the same thing, which is that 85% of job success comes from soft skills like communication, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills. Research also shows that when people are strong communicators, and that includes your writing skills and your written digital communications, people make positive assumptions about you, your attitude, your aptitude, your attention to detail, your critical thinking skills, all those things. And unfortunately, they make the opposite assumptions if you don’t have strong communication skills. They make negative inferences about your attention to detail, about your pride in your work, and about your credibility.

3. Root Communication in ‘Why’

If you are explaining something to someone or you’re giving them a task that you want them to do, telling them ‘why’ really helps a person understand the context and purpose behind a directive. For example, if my manager gives me a task that feels like a one-off and I have a good relationship with my manager, I might think, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to that,’ but it doesn’t feel very important. But if she explains to me why this task is important, especially if the why impacts me or something I care about, like my job performance or my teammates, then I’m much more likely to remember to do that task.

4. Develop Recall Techniques

There are a couple of ways as communicators that we can help others create memories that imprint so that the recall factor is stronger. The first is with emotion. We can create memories that imprint by bringing emotion into the fold because emotional resonance helps create long-term memory imprinting. Now, how do we do that? Let me give you an example. Years ago I had a gentleman on a team I was supervising who was balking at providing me feedback on a policy that was coming down from the senior administration. And I explained to him how the policy was going to affect his day-to-day job and it wasn’t positive. And he was like, ‘Oh, I don’t want that. Okay, I’m going to give you my feedback.’ And so in that way, we can use fear to motivate people.


Book Recommendation:

Listen to the full episode: Episode 166: Powerful Communication with Dr. Ali Atkison

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