How show-and-tell helps people develop communication competencies

Your first presentation to an audience was probably in kindergarten. The topics are more complex now, but a similar approach breeds clear understanding. Consider these seven tips.

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Communication competencies can seem complicated and abstract.

They’re the core skills, knowledge and behaviors that employees need to succeed. They’re often described in broad terms such as “integrity” or “decision making” because they apply to employees at all levels and in all roles.

To bring them into sharper focus, think back to your first show-and-tell experience when you were a child. For me, it was in kindergarten.

I was excited to talk about my Winnie-the-Pooh bear, but at the same time I was so terrified to be in front of the class that words failed me. Thankfully, the way I hugged Winnie tightly to my chest showed more clearly how much I loved that bear than anything I could have said.

What I learned then would come in handy years later: The best approach to communicating competencies is show and tell.  My personal experience is backed up by my company’s research on employee preferences. One thing we’ve heard consistently is that employees are tired of hearing companies talk at them.

Instead, employees want companies to show them what they should do.

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