What Business Professionals Want: Great Leaders and Effective Communicators

By Kate Whalen

A recent survey conducted by Leger (2014) presents findings that “Canadian business professionals consider leadership and effective communications skills to be the most important management competencies. However, they are also the subject areas that are most in need in management education”. While the report goes on to discuss opportunities for providing training and education within organizations, it may present an opportunity for soon-to-be and/or recent graduates, or those looking for a change in career.

My advice to those looking to enhance their leadership and communication skills are three fold: First, identify the skills and/or learning outcomes you hope to achieve. For example, do you want to gain experience leading people and/or projects? Perhaps you want to learn how to best utilize social media for communication purposes. Or, maybe you want to gain experience with formal grant writing. Second, look for learning opportunities, such as getting involved in a local community group or applying for a position on a committee. Find a group that engages in initiatives or projects that you are truly interested in. It does not have to be related to your future career, since it will be the transferable skills you will highlight, not necessarily the topic for which the skills were applied. Finally, remember that it is not the number of groups you are involved with or the number of committees that you sit on that matters, it is what you DO and what you LEARN from the opportunities. So take advantage of the ability to be involved in something you are passionate about and gaining skills and knowledge that will benefit you in long run, in more ways than one.  

Read more on the full report by Ledger:

http://seec.schulich.yorku.ca/ContentResources/LibraryFiles/SEEC-ExecutiveEducation%20Survey%20report%20-%20Leger,%20June%202014.pdf

Posted on July 10, 2014 and filed under Opinion.