I could be talking about driving. That is something everyone thinks they are great at but the truth is most of us are pretty lousy. But I am actually talking about a skill every single person uses multiple times a day; there is basically no training, no testing, and no license. Everyone I have ever met thinks they are really good at it. I am talking about the ability to communicate. Wait! Don’t stop reading just because you think this post doesn’t apply to you. It applies to everyone. Take five minutes out of your day and read it. I know you will find something that you can use.
Read almost any job posting and somewhere it will say “Must have good oral and written communication skills”. Everyone always glosses over that requirement thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve got that one in spades.” But if everyone had it would they really feel the need to take up space to say it in the post? How often do you see “Must be breathing” in a job posting? Never, because everyone who applies already has that one in the bag.
What that means to you: If you can show that you actually have communication and conflict resolution skills you will stand out from the pack.
How to Stand Out
• On your resume – Don’t just say “great communication skills”. Instead try, “Understand the benefits of having tough conversations and engaging in productive conflict”. Of course, make sure you do and have some examples. You can bet you are going to be asked about it in the interview.
• In the interview – After discussing the point above, ask about the company’s culture around dissenting ideas and disagreement. Listen closely to determine if they are looking for a ‘yes man’ who will just do what he is told without question or for someone who is willing to professionally be the devil’s advocate and make sure the best solution is found.
• When you are doing the interviewing – Ask them to tell you about a time they disagreed with their boss and how they handled it. Listen for “I” statements. If their whole answer is about what their boss did, they aren’t telling you about how they engaged in the discussion.
• On the job or in your business – Tough conversations and productive conflict aren’t things you should just give lip service. Actually using them will make you more successful and ensure you come up with the best solution and resolve issues rather than spinning your wheels when disagreements arise.
• In your personal life – Dealing with disagreement isn’t just a 9-5 job. It happens just as much in our personal lives. Being able to engage in productive conflict to reach a resolution will create a happier, healthier environment for you and your loved ones.
What do you think? Do you agree that good communication and conflict resolution skills have become so rare that they can be highlighted to stand out? Share your thoughts in the comments.
To learn more about creating a communication fingerprint that will help you stand out from the crowd, visit these other posts by Doc Robyn:
Did you miss last week’s topic Do You Argue Like a Politician?
Next week: How mean kids led to my life’s work
Tags :Champion Performance Development, communcation, conflict, Doc Robyn, effective communication, find a job, get hired, personal growth, resume help, Robyn Odegaard, stand out, stand out from the crowd, stop the drama