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The Critical Role of Communication Skills in Personal and Professional Relationships

Effective communication skills are essential for every relationship, whether personal or professional. Nothing gets accomplished without a clear exchange of information, intention, direction, emotion, and understanding, all of which are conveyed through verbal and non-verbal communication. This isn't just common sense; it makes great business sense too. However, this vital leadership skill is often taken for granted and not prioritized as it should be. Studies show that 90% of all management problems stem from miscommunication.

In today's fast-paced world, we're communicating across multiple platforms, including in-person, email, text, Slack, and instant messaging. While these methods are fast, easy, and accessible 24/7, they also lead to an unprecedented level of miscommunication, costing companies millions of dollars. Research highlights that poor communication results in $62.4 million in lost productivity annually, with a total estimated cost of $37 billion due to employee miscommunication. Additionally, 31% of employees miss their performance goals due to poor communication, and 44% say miscommunication from managers significantly contributes to project failures.

Leaders often believe they are delivering clear messages, but these messages can become lost in translation, misinterpreted, and misaligned with the intended outcome. Despite their best intentions, clear directions, effective feedback, or inspiring presentations don't always land as expected. We've all experienced the "telephone game" as kids, which shows how easily words and meanings can get jumbled.

To ensure your communication is clear, concise, and cost-effective, follow the ON Point Action Plan.

7 Steps for More Effective Communication 


  1. Pause – nothing will serve you better than taking a moment, gathering your thoughts, thinking it through & putting that email in the draft folder

  2. Know Your Audience customize your communication & approach to match the person or group you are trying to impact

  3. Make it Public treat all of your communication as if it is seen, read & heard by everyone for all eternity; nothing is private

  4. Prep & Practice if it’s an important speech or announcement, good or bad, make sure to script it out, practice & ask for feedback

  5. Question to Clarify before the meeting ends, ask everyone what they believe are their next steps, responsibilities & deadlines

  6. Consider Their Perspective put yourself in their shoes & think about if your communication has set them up for success

  7. Beware of Your Body remember that 93% of communication is nonverbal; make sure your facial expressions & body language are sending the right message

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