Talk Ain’t Cheap…It’s Priceless

Today is Thursday, so this post is on communication skills.

My friends at Walk the Talk Company have just released a new handbook.  This one is called Talk Ain’t Cheap…It’s priceless: Connecting in a Disconnected World.  Eileen McDargh is the author.  Ms. McDargh has been a consultant, speaker and trainer since 1980.  She is in the Speaker Hall of Fame, and has been ranked by Executive Excellence magazine as one of the top 100 thought leaders in business leadership.  She knows what she’s talking about. 

Talk Ain’t Cheap…It’s Priceless focuses on building effective verbal communication skills.  As you’ll recall, conversation skills – along with writing and presentation skills — is one of the hallmarks of a good communicator. 

The back cover says it well…

·        “Certainly, no one intends to be a careless communicator, a lousy listener, or a terrible talker.  But too often we take verbal communication for granted.  We’re unaware of what we say and do – and how unintentional missteps can discourage others from work with us and for us…Fact is, being able to connect with the hearts and minds of customers, colleagues and employees have never been more important.”

Ms. McDargh begins with some hard data to underscore the importance of effective communication.  She cites a Watson Wyatt stuffy of 335 public companies in

North America

.  In part, the study found that companies with effective communication, when compared to competitors with poor communication:

·        Have a 19% higher stock price.

·        Have a 57% higher shareholder return.

·        Are 4.5 times more likely to report a high level of employee engagement.

·        Are 20% more likely to have low turnover rates.

These are some good reasons for honing your communication skills – if you want to be a career and life success, that is.

Each section of the handbook ends with a checklist for priceless talk.  Here are some of the bits of common sense wisdom Ms. McDargh dispenses in these checklists.

·        Leave behind the excuses for poor communication of time, technology, and distance.

·        Uncover your personal blind spots through astute questions and naïve listening.

·        Create opportunities for differing opinions.

·        Exchange viewpoints to arrive at a viewing point.

·        Make a list of people who are closest to an issue, a process or a program, talk to them.  Ask them what they see and hear.

·        Take all of the responses seriously. 

·        Get away from your desk, your office and your car.  Talk to people where they are.  Visit another site.   Talk, ask questions, listen and learn.

·        Use stories to make vivid points.

·        Share what’s behind the curtain – your talents and deficits.

·        When emotionally hooked: hush up, thing and then talk.

·        Be courteous to everyone.

·        Lighten up.  People feel better when they laugh.

This is just a summary of the checklists and the important common sense advice Eileen McDargh dispenses in Talk Ain’t Cheap…It’s Priceless.  I highly recommend this handbook.  Like all of the Walk the Talk Handbooks, it contains a lot of wisdom in a small package.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: www.CommonSenseGuy.com for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Bud

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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