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Communication: better than normal

Some participants in the Small Business NetworkSome 35 people attended the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Small Business forum last week. I had been asked to repeat a talk on Communication skills I had given some 18 months ago, but for the sake of those with better memories than mine, I updated it a little. It was gratifying to have so many.

Communication is probably the most critical of leadership skills, because it brings together and makes sense of all the others. Without an ability to communicate, we cannot ignite in others the passion we feel. If we cannot communicate, our superior products will languish on the shelves while lesser products benefit from better marketing and more attractive packaging.

Unfortunately, leaders do not take communication seriously. We have been communicating since we were born, when we learned that crying loudly is the way to get what we want. Why should we waste time learning something we have been doing all our lives? The reason is quite simple; everybody does it, but not many people do it well.

We have been walking almost as long as we have been communicating, but not all of us can run a marathon or climb a mountain. If doing either of those things is important to us, we will have to change our schedules considerably to allow us to ‘waste’ a good deal of time preparing and practising.

If sharing your passion, persuading others to join you on the journey or motivating others to greater achievement, is what you need to do to thrive, then time spent on your communication skills will not be wasted. It will ensure that your passion becomes a thriving business, ignites a flame in your community, or encourages others to greater heights.

Being able to communicate doesn’t mean having perfect elocution (although that helps), or even having a great command of the language (though that will also help). It means taking any opportunity to communicate as seriously as you take your passion or your other key performance areas. It means taking time to think about what you want to communicate and how best to get that message across. You owe it to your dream, and you certainly owe it to those who will have to listen.

Unfortunately, not many people do appreciate it, which is why I was glad to see so many last week who are determined to get whatever help they can to do this thing called communicating better than before.

I will post the six steps towards better communication, which I shared with the group, next month.

If you want to attend or set up a seminar on communication, or would like Ian Webster to talk to your group or your staff, please contact Simply Communicate at

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Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people, people-management consulting and writing and editing.

1 Comment

  1. […] last month’s article, ‘Communication: better than normal,’ I promised to post the six steps to effective communication I had discussed at the […]

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