Communication Skills

How Well Do You Communicate?

Successful communication is critical in business.

Employability skills is an umbrella term for a set of highly desirable, transferable skills that turn you into a very attractive candidate or employee. They can be defined as a set of skills employers want from a potential employee.

According to Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., and Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., Every employer is looking for a specific set of skills from job-seekers that match the skills necessary to perform a particular job.

But beyond these job-specific technical skills, there are other skills that are nearly universally sought by employers. The good news is that most job-seekers possess these skills to some extent. The better news is that job-seekers with weaknesses in these areas can improve their skills through training, professional development, or obtaining coaching/mentoring from someone who understands these skills.

So, what are some of these critical employability skills that employers demand of job-seekers?

Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written).

By far, the one skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write, and speak effectively.  There’s more to communication than saying things so that people understand what you say.  To be called a good communicator, you need to:

  • listen to understand what the other person is telling you
  • empathize with them in order to build rapport
  • draw logical conclusions from listening to what they said
  • adapt your language to your audience
  • act on the information you gather in a constructive manner

Analytical/Research Skills.

Deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed.   Employers look for people who can: find the right information in any medium, organize it in a meaningful way, analyze it and draw conclusions and then communicate it to others.

Interpersonal Abilities.

The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work each day.  These skills include: Professionalism, Confidence, Creativity, Drive, Enthusiasm, and Transparency

Leadership/Management Skills.

While there is some debate about whether leadership is something people are born with, these skills deal with your ability to take charge and manage your co-workers.  Key leadership skills include: Being self-motivated and focused, Effective use of mental capacity, physical space, and resources, Managing tasks and people, Prioritizing and Delegating


Because so many jobs involve working in one or more work-groups, you must have the ability to work with others in a professional manner while attempting to achieve a common goal.  Teamwork skills may involve time management skills such as: Planning the use of available resources (time, effort, people, money, etc.), Establishing a task or project time frame, Setting schedules and milestones


Many of these skills can be developed through participation in a group or club such as Toastmasters.  Many people have an unrealistic idea of what Toastmasters is all about.  It is not about giving speeches, it is about developing your communication skills – listening, sharing, evaluating and more.

Find out more by going to to find a club near you, then drop in for a visit.  You may be surprised by what you find. Check it out.  You may find it very helpful in your working life.

To your success in communicating your ideas and strengths to others.

Fran Watson

Fran Watson, Career Counsellor

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