You’re desperate to fill a management role and you want to hire someone with strong communication skills. But what does that mean? Before you screen candidates, you need to get a handle on exactly what you’re looking for. In our experience, EVERYONE believes he or she is a great communicator, so outlining the tangible traits that are important will help you identify the person you need. Simply using the phrase “communication” as a code word for vague skills or personality traits isn’t enough. Here are 6 qualities to look for in a strong communicator:
Good communicators recognize that the first step in having a strong relationship with anyone from a spouse to a client is listening to what is important to them.
Re-iterating or clarifying what a client said, and then summarizing the key points is a critical piece of effective communication and helps to ensure both parties are clear of objectives and goals moving forward. This helps avoid miscommunication and disappointment.
Listening, summarizing, and setting expectations help both parties understand what to look for next. Whether it’s a client who needs to know when to expect a resolution to a problem, or an employee who has recently been put on a performance review plan, setting expectations is a critical part of effective communication. Get on the same page.
Knowing how to take appropriate action to get the desired results is a big part of effective communication. Listening, summarizing, and setting expectations are great, but the goal in doing these things effectively is to get results.
A strong communicator doesn’t lose track of the details and staying organized is an important part of setting expectations and delivering results. Whether it’s taking notes, making a list, or keeping a strong eye on the objectives—the bottom line is, organization ensures goals are met and results are delivered.
Look for candidates who understand how important it is not to fall off the face of the earth near the end of a project. Following up is an important part of closing the loop of communication. It’s not enough to meet objectives—a successful communicator circles back to ensure client satisfaction, answer questions, and get a sense of whether employees are in a good place.