In today’s multigenerational, global, constantly changing world, communication skills—both oral and written—are more important than anything else you can bring to a job.
You can’t lead without good communication, and no matter how technical or virtual the workplace becomes, your ability to speak and write well will differentiate you from your peers and determine your ability to advance and succeed.
Moreover, in every survey that asks about millennials, employers say communication skills are what they want the most. They also say millennials tend to lack those skills.
If you count yourself among the millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y), and you are a leader now or hope to move into a leadership role in the next few years, follow these tips to prepare yourself and show your employer your potential.
Ditch immature-sounding speech patterns
The top three problematic expressions I hear when students and young employees talk to me after I’ve given a speech are “um,” “like,” and “you know.” I also hear a lot of upspeak, which occurs when you use a higher tone of voice at the end of a sentence as if you’re asking a question even when you aren’t.