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sk any expert what sets humans apart from other primates, and they’ll probably

say our communication skills. Language and communication enables us to share knowledge, collaborate and develop ideas way beyond any other species. Communication is also very often

at the heart of much that is wrong in our societies and organisations. Analyse any number of problems, and

The skilled L&D practitioner needs to be a great communicator

communication, if not at the very core, will certainly exacerbate any issues to make them even more intransigent. Take for example the break-up of

families; the breakdown in relation- ships often starts with an inability to communicate. Many couples expect a rosy life of married bliss but, when the fi rst problem arises, they often don’t know how to tackle it through discus- sion and re-thinking their relationship with each other and those around them. No marriage is perfect, but being able to explore issues and problems openly together gives couples a good chance of being in satisfying, support- ive and happy long term relationships. T e skilled L&D practitioner also needs to be a great communicator.

4 | September 2016 |

At the heart of what we do is a need to communicate with a variety of diff erent stakeholders to understand the needs of the organisation. From the senior management team to the frontline customer service teams, understanding their needs and problems is only possible by having good conversations that probe, challenge, analyse and confi rm problems or promote understanding of how an organisation functions. Once practitioners have this insight into their organisations, people and problems, they can then start to devise ways to improve performance and, again, communication lies at the heart of any change and its success. When reading the applications

for this year’s TJ Awards, it was clear that those L&D professionals with the greatest communication skills got the very best out of their people and organisations. Whether by challenging the senior management team to look at their traditional methods more critically, or by gaining infl uence with line managers so they fi nd the time to coach their people to greater success, or by collaborating with peers to fi nd new ways to deliver learning more eff ectively or innovatively. Whatever way you cut it – communication is at the heart of everything we achieve.


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