This is the first in a series of communication tips and advice for technical professionals looking to ascend through the ranks, whether you are a front line associate looking to move up, or a Senior Vice President looking to ascend to the C-suite.
While these tips are not ground-breaking, and can’t guarantee that you will move up within your organization, they will definitely give you a leg up on your competition.
1. Develop Relationships within your organization but outside of your specialty Seems like common sense but this often gets pushed to the side in favor of day to day responsibilities that yield immediate results. It is much easier to communicate what you do and why it is important to someone who is used to hearing from you regularly. Make a habit of trying to develop a relationship within a different business division at least once a month.
2. Develop a message – How does what you do, or what your team does, further the efforts of the organization? How does it help the business achieve its bottom line objectives? You MUST be able to articulate the value of your position to the organization clearly. This often takes time and effort, but is crucial – make the investment.
3. Be open. Be available. Talk to people. – Technical positions, especially in IT or lab science, can often breed a solo or small team atmosphere. If you are a leader in your organization, be seen. Nothing is worse than an executive who stays behind closed doors and remains silent.
4. Treat your top talent as you would boss– If you think you have talked to them enough, go back and talk to them one more time. Trust me, if your top talent is nervous, and they are, and you are not communicating with them, they are looking elsewhere. As times get more challenging your top talent becomes more valuable. This rings true at every organizational level, from the front lines. Replacing superstars is not easy.
5. Understand your audience – Different industries and professions have different languages, and not only may those outside have trouble understanding it, it’s never a given that even those within the industry, but in a different division, understand the lingo associated with your specialty. Communicate with your audience in mind.
Pt. II with more communication tips coming soon….