As a former marketing professional for the technology sector, I often worked on developing branding and advertising campaigns for products and services so my transition into the image industry was an easy one. Instead of working on campaigns for products, I now apply similar marketing techniques to developing personal branding campaigns for my clients.
A very important part of a successful branding campaign is the ability to communicate the value the product or service offers and as an individual, you are also a brand and need to effectively communicate your value to others. It’s essential to clearly differentiate yourself amongst your peers in order to be considered and selected for promotions or new career opportunities.
Effective communication is a must have in today’s competitive job marketplace. Technology has enabled us to communicate globally in a more swift and frequent manner. I recently read in a Forbes article, Put Down Your PDA and Stay a While, that in the U.S. we send nearly 5 billion text messages per day and we send 2.8 million emails per second in the world!
Lastly, the article stated that we attend (on average) 61 meetings per month. As evidenced by this study, the ability to communicate effectively is a key to career success. So how can you begin to hone your communication skills to a point where it will differentiate you from others? Start by communicating using the 3R’s.
Always be on message and ensure your conversation is relevant to the opportunity at hand either in person or any follow up communications sent. This is especially true in your email communications; be sure that you get to the point quick and highlight key takeaways upfront.
Be sure to follow office protocol and always be mindful of manners. If you are in client meetings, keep the conversation professional and be aware of any cultural differences. If you are in an internal meeting, be sure to communicate your point of view in a professional manner vs. an aggressive one and be respectful of those that may differ in your opinion. If at a networking event, be inclusive of others not exclusive. If emailing a group, avoid negativity in general but also remember to never highlight a colleague’s mistake in a public forum.
Having grown up on Long Island or more commonly called “Lawng Iland” I continue to work on my accent not because I’m ashamed of where I grew (its a lovely place to live) but there is a negative perception that goes a long with it that somehow I’m less educated than others who might have a more “refined” way of speaking. It’s important in your career to pay attention to your diction; the accent, the inflection, intonation and speech-sound quality. Doing so enables others to pay attention to WHAT you are saying vs. HOW you are saying it.
What are some of your effective communication tips for the workplace?