The most successful organizations have good communication skills. Survey after survey bears this out. Poor communication skills are often cited in employee surveys as a reason for poor morale and performance.
Having been in the business of building organizational communication skills for more than 25 years, I've seen firsthand the positive impact these skills can have upon a company. Speaking with respect and active listening are so important that I don't understand why more organizations don't teach these important skills. They can truly differentiate you from your competitors and give you a decided advantage in the marketplace.
In a recent article in Chief Learning Officer, our friend and client, Randy Hall from Pfizer Animal Health, had some interesting things to say about our Excellence in Speaking Institute and its impact upon his company. Here's an excerpt from that article:
"During Ty's course, you're probably on your feet 15 to 18 times in front of your peers or a group of folks that you're in the course with, presenting to them. Even if you are uncomfortable the first couple of times, by the time you've done that over and over the fear starts to fade and the confidence starts to come in," said Randy Hall, global director of learning and development, Pfizer Inc. Animal Health Group. "The other thing is the coaching (participants) get. They get one-on-one, very specific coaching during the class that allows them to address whichever areas of their communication skills need the most work." These improvement areas depend on how participants present to other people and could include lack of clarity, inability to quickly get to the point, incorrect use of body language or other habits that detract from the messenger and the message being delivered."
Hall added that Pfizer had a real business need: getting people to communicate effectively in various situations-from one-on-one conversations to group meetings. After going through a pilot of Boyd's class with his peers, Hall said the course was so impressive that Pfizer Animal Health Group now requires every new sales representative and manager to go through it. "These folks communicate for a living, and what Ty and his team enable them to do is lose or at least diminish their fear of the process," Hall explained. "They feel more comfortable and confident in front of small or large groups of people, and we believe that it helps them engage more in every area of their business. He's been a great business partner with us, and the demand for the course is what drove it. People aren't going because I say so. They're going because they're hearing word-of-mouth out there on the street that this is something that really helps them get better at their jobs. They want to be there."
Are your people communicating effectively inside and outside the organization? Shouldn't they be?
Ty Boyd, CEO of Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, is in the Broadcast Hall of Fame and the Speakers Hall of Fame. He has taught presentation skills to Fortune 1000 executives in more than 34 countries. His Excellence In Speaking Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2005.