A large number of industry reports and academic papers have repeatedly reported that communication skills – and skills related to them (e.g. working in diverse teams) – are highly sought after by employers. Yet at the same time, there are also reports that graduates are not always meeting employers’ expectations in this regard, including in their ability to function well in an increasingly globalising world. So, what is the problem? A newly published study by Dauber and Spencer-Oatey explored the issue by researching which factors affect the development of global communication skills.
Research into teamwork has frequently identified communication as a key factor affecting success, especially when team members are from diverse backgrounds. Two issues are frequently mentioned: discrepancies in language proficiency and ‘silent’ members who contribute little to group discussions. Blame for these ‘problems’ is typically heaped on the individual(s) concerned, but it’s important to ask how fair this is. A relatively recent longitudinal study offers some fascinating insights.
Do you – or your employees – feel anxious or fearful about speaking at work? Are there some situations when it feels more difficult than others? Do factors like gender, age, managerial status, and/or race / ethnicity have an influence? Find out about the latest research on these issues.
Employees are increasingly encouraged to be themselves at work; i.e. to be authentic. Yet recent organisational psychology research, which examined the impact of being yourself on workplace relations and task performance, has sounded a note of caution, questioning whether it is wise in all contexts.
If you are an employer or an employee and are seeking to recruit someone new, what would you list as the top 10 types of communication skill you’d be looking for? Would you include people skills? Or integrity? Why/why not? This ‘GPC Latest Research Insight’ considers these issues in relation to a study that stimulated these questions.