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Don't hold back – don't be held back

Today my guest contributor, Paul Dillon, writes about the importance of effective communication skills in the workplace.

In a change driven, high-tech, high speed workplace the focus in recruitment and advancement is very much on academic qualifications and IT skills.

It is a given that excellence in any field is a pre-requisite and people of academic learning and excellence are abundant. But all this is like the sub-surface bulk of an iceberg; the unseen ballast and power.

In the workplace, the visible 'tip' can be just as important.

Today, the marketing of the individual is up to the individual; we all of us need to present ourselves as a package. That package needs to be as complete as we can make it and, like it or not, the reality is that qualifications alone won't guarantee getting that job or that promotion. You have to look the part and sound the part; you have to present yourself.

Careers can't be on hold anymore and tenure doesn't win promotion. What is required is the ability to communicate well at all levels, give your ideas the best possible presentation and have that air of assurance that leads to others having confidence in you. You need your own confidence before you will receive it from others.

So many well and multi-skilled operators and academically excellent candidates hold themselves back by not working and developing speaking and presentation skills; they fail to connect and engage and therefore fail to sell themselves and / or their ideas. Indifference is fatal to good ideas and excellent work.

Meetings are unavoidable in the workplace and also in community activities. It is vital for any individual to excel at the interpersonal and meetings are the proving ground. The meeting may be a job interview, a sales call with a client or one of the many in-house 'skirmishes' that arise frequently; in any and all of these it's present well and do well.

In this day and age in our society there is no excuse for not having a good education package and certainly no excuse for not 'putting the polish on'.

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Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon is a freelance journalist and columnist writing on such diverse subjects as business management, sport and popular music. He is a published author and lyricist and has recently made the move into radio sports commentary.
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