Focus Upskilling on This One Area

Just wrapped up delivering “Breakthrough, the Promotional Pipeline” here at HR Southwest, and it was so interesting to me that as I looked at the full agenda, what the conference titles and topics were over the course of three days of this conference, that overwhelmingly they fell under one big umbrella, one big bucket.

And interestingly enough, it’s the third critical strategy that we share in “Breakthrough the Promotional Pipeline,” and this umbrella is communication. Communication! Although there were plenty of sessions on artificial intelligence, innovation, policies, and, procedures – communication was the key. So as you are starting to think about what’s next, what is your next opportunity? Where do you need to focus? I really encourage you to put a plan together around improving your communication.

The hard skills, right? Learning the technology, all of those hard skills, is going to get you to a certain place. In fact, after the session, I had a very, very bright young woman come and chat with me. And man, she is a dynamo you can tell, at the data analyst role. I mean, hard skills down pat. But to get to the next level, she’s got to be able to present in front of a group, communicate with her managers, be able to communicate with her peers, and possibly direct reports.

So, do not take this lightly. As you’re looking for that next level, it has got to be communication. I recently shared a story with you that I have been talking about this to my kids since Ethan, who’s now a senior, when he was in fifth or sixth grade. It is what is going to separate you from all of the people who have the same hard skills, or maybe you even have slightly better hard skill knowledge.

If you don’t have the soft skills of communication to demonstrate it, to project it, to really showcase it, you’re going to be stuck.

So if you want to break through that promotional pipeline, if you want to get to your next opportunity, go out there and improve the communication. Put that plan together!