Daily Buzz: Start Building Your Persuasion Skills

Effective communication is no longer just a soft skill; the ability to persuade gives you a competitive edge. Also: how to deal with an executive transition.

Effective communication—particularly the ability to speak well publicly, whether to a small group in the office or a to a crowd from a stage—is often considered a nice-to-have soft skill but not a must-have competency that can make or break success. But according to a new LinkedIn analysis, persuasion is one of the skills most worth learning in 2019, and that means public speaking is more important than ever, says Carmine Gallo, author of Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great.

“In a world built on ideas, the persuaders—the ones who can win hearts and change minds—have a competitive edge,” he says in a post on Inc. And strengthening those persuasion skills will only bring you closer to your business goals.

“Calling public speaking a ‘soft skill’ diminishes its value in a world that cherishes the hard sciences,” Gallo says. “Public speaking isn’t soft. It’s the equivalent of cold, hard cash.”

Exit The Right Way

Transitioning away from your leadership role? It’s best to approach any change with as much transparency and planning as possible. Once your departure has been announced, you’ll enter a “neutral zone,” says the “Nonprofit Whisperer” advice columnist at Nonprofit Quarterly.

“This is a phase that you, the board, staff, and community will enter when you publicly announce your departure. It is the time that bridges the old and the new,” she writes in a new post. “You (and maybe a coach or mentor who can provide a sounding board) must think very carefully about how long you want people to be in the neutral zone.”

Staying around to onboard your successor is an option, but it can also cause confusion. “Your presence will provide comfort and assurances to staff and others, but it may also make it difficult for them to let go,” she says. “You may want to consider getting a transition coach to talk this over with you and (if the organization can afford it) outside counsel from an executive transitions consulting firm to help the organization identify the stages of transition it is in along the way and support the pacing that is right for your organization and the new leader.”

Other Links of Note

Many meetings are going digital. Ask these four questions to see if your conference should follow the trend, from the MemberClicks blog.

Amping up your communication strategy? Nonprofit Marketing Guide lists 27 tools to consider.

Onboarding is the first introduction employees have to your team. This is what your process should look like to make a great first impression, says the HubSpot blog.

(Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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