"Communication skills" and "communication sense" are not the same. Good communication skills is the foundation, underpinnings, for developing communication sense, just like knowing the functions of the pieces on the Chess board is ultimately necessary for executing strategy. Pieces don’t win the match, how you manage them does; and perhaps that's all you need - a better strategy for managing your communications or Sound Communication Sense.
Here are some tips to help:
Truism: (You read this before) You create a more meaningful connection by becoming interested in others before trying to interest others in you.
- Set up "informational interviews" with knowledgeable and/or influential people with the specific intention of gaining job information. Informational interviews are also great low-risk practice grounds for developing your communication sense.
- Don’t oversell yourself: Talking to much is perceived as over-selling. Focus and listen and show the interviewer that h/she matters.
- “Two ears, one mouth blah, blah, blah…”
- Seek out “referrals” which results in less stressful interviews for all parties. When you are referred you enter the interview “pre-sold” to some degree and thus less burdened.
- Don’t bury your listener with incidentals and unnecessary details of a situation. When showcasing your value, if it’s not relevant to a result, drop it!
- Use simple language when talking with others. Don’t make your listeners plow through too much jargon, since “too much” can be a turn-off.
- Use brief anecdotes to communicate your value and strengths; keep each under 30-50 seconds and invite interviewer questions. (People will remember your anecdotal stories more than a litany of duties and responsibilities).
- Don’t rush. Stop and wait to see if there are any follow-up questions after responding to a question.
- Finally, target "spot opportunities". Spot opportunities are typically unadvertised, unpublicized opportunities that are triggered by some activity or event in the business community: Plant openings; new business developments, diversification or product introductions; mergers, acquisitions, divestitures; IPO’s, LBO’s, etc.
- Use your Informational interviews, referrals & spot opportunities gain other networking opportunities; leads to jobs or actual openings that you can get to before of the crowd.
Effective communication continues to grow more and more important in our information-intensive world. How you manage your verbal communication in networking meetings and interviews will directly impact not only the quality of the meeting, but the number of meetings that arise as a result (networking), and consequently, the outcome of your job change or career search. These 10 tips are helpful, but general. You may want to consider looking at some online “communication-style” and or “personality-style” quizzes to learn if your communication/personality style is helping relationships or causing problems. Entering meetings forearmed with that information plus the 10 tips herein will be a winning combination – and it makes good communication sense.
Hope this helps!!