Start Here: A Dozen Skills You Need for Two-Way Communication

Posted by David Grossman on Wed,Sep 15, 2010

12Last week I talked about the nine fast (and not so fast) fixes for two-way dialogue.  This week, it's time to think about the actual skills you need to improve that same kind of dialogue.

So just what are these skills?  

Don't worry, following is the list of 12 must-know, must-master abilities that make for good communication.  

There’s one for every month of the year, but it won’t take you a month to apply each of these skills.  Maybe 12 weeks?

You must have an ability to:

  • Select the right time and method for communicating
  • Be present in the moment and limit distractions
  • Provide the big-picture and context first; check for understanding before sharing more detailed  information
  • Ask broad open-ended questions to gather feedback
  • Share the rationale behind decisions
  • Listen for what’s being said (and not said)
  • Ask more specific questions to ensure understanding
  • Listen some more (stop talking)
  • Empathize and reflect back feelings when appropriate
  • Check for understanding (paraphrase)
  • Ask for feedback (what’s working well/what could be better)
  • Ensure shared understanding/meaning before the conversation ends

In the end, employees will give you credit for trying.  Self-disclose by letting them know what you’re working on, and ask them for how you’re doing.  It shows you care, and you’ll get kudos for trying even when the outcome isn’t exactly what you want.



- David Grossman


going slow to go fast

Free e-book: Going Slow to Go Fast: Making Internal Communication Work for You 

Going Slow to Go Fast is a high-level, go-to resource for communicators who want to build an effective internal communication process that speaks directly to business leaders’ number-one question: How will this improve our company’s bottom line? Download Now!

Tags: Employee Engagement, Communication Skills

    About leadercommunicator blog

    Leadership and communications expert, David Grossman shares high-level tips on leadership effectiveness, internal communications, employee engagement, and a variety of other topics on the minds of leaders and communicators.

    Subscribe by Email

    Going Slow to Go Fast eBook
    David Grossman - The Relationship Between Corporate Culture and Performance in the WSJ
    Take the Email-Free Vacation Pledge