Communication Skills

The Importance of Strategic Communication for Making it Big in Career

Dr Aakanksha Gupta
Dr Aakanksha Gupta
Posted on 13 Dec 2022
08:48 AM
Dr Aakanksha Gupta, author and Vice President for Media and Communications at S.K. Educations Pvt. Ltd.

Dr Aakanksha Gupta, author and Vice President for Media and Communications at S.K. Educations Pvt. Ltd. Source: Dr Aakanksha Gupta

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Summary
The purpose of strategic communication is to convey your message to the other person in such a way that there is alignment between your words and subsequent actions
Strategic communication facilitates your way to the top

Would you believe me if I told you that I was able to negotiate a higher salary than my colleagues who had much more work experience than me or that I was promoted to manager just six months into my job?

Believe it or not, what gets you ahead in your career most of the time is how well you get along with others, i.e., your management, your co-workers, your customers, and at so many more places. And I believe that strategic communication plays an important part in this facet of growth, and it is something that cannot be downgraded if you want to make it big, especially when you want to get into a leadership position. Strategic communication has always helped me open doors to opportunities and possibilities for myself.

What is Strategic Communication?

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The purpose of strategic communication is to convey your message to the other person in such a way that there is alignment between your words and subsequent actions, so that your goal of the communication is smoothly accomplished.

You might need to communicate with an individual through oral or written communication, and sometimes through non-verbal cues.

Oral communication takes place over phone calls, presentations, video calls, and, most importantly, face-to-face interactions. Written communication, on the other hand, deals with communication in the form of reports, memos, emails, proposals, documents, and the like.

Non-verbal communication is quite different from these two. It consists of factors such as your tone and volume of voice, posture, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact, and is more powerful during oral communication. However, you can also find it useful in written communication with the use of jargon and your paragraphing style, and if it is informal, you can put in emojis.

While communicating with anyone in your professional life or even in your personal life, you must always be aware of the possible outcome that you wish to drive out of the conversation. It is the key to mastering any form of communication.

Why is Strategic Communication Important?

Strategic communication facilitates your way to the top. However, it is not just about you but also about your organisation and your customers as well.

When there is conciseness and clarity in the conveyed message as well as the timing is appropriate, it helps you achieve your organisational goals, customer satisfaction, and also job satisfaction.

I use strategic communication every day. I have used it to ace my job interview, negotiate my terms at the job and salary, conduct everyday negotiations with various vendors, conduct business, and manage my team. I actively use my style of communication, more importantly, strategic communication to convey my thoughts and opinions with more confidence and with the belief that I will be able to achieve my goal with the communication as I had hoped for.

The Art of Strategic Communication

Strategic communication is all about examining who is your audience, what is the message you want to get across, what medium would help make the maximum impact, and what timing would be the most right. When you get these things in order, it becomes easy to communicate strategically sound messages and get along well with others.

  • The art of strategic communication takes practice, and anyone can master this art with dedication and practice.
  • To-the-point messages are crucial to avoid conflicting messages. You may keep a journal to organise your thoughts and bring succinctness to your style of communication.
  • Tailor your messages to promote a culture of inclusion, respect, and sensitivity around you. Assert your opinions but do so while keeping these values in mind.
  • Strategic communication is all about active listening rather than talking for desired outcomes. It is also about receiving as well as providing feedback and showing one's concern for other people's viewpoints.
  • Acquire the skill of storytelling. Stories last longer than facts in people's minds. They can help you bring about significant changes.
  • Open-ended questions and humour are also two ways of strategic communication. However, tread cautiously in these ways without making any assumptions, and just reflect positivity.
  • Before confronting anyone, it is always better to calm down first and maintain a good balance between assertive confidence and calmness.
  • Take care of your non-verbal cues. Maintain proper eye contact while communicating with anyone, follow the dress code to exhibit respect for rules, limit all kinds of distractions like mobile phones, and pay heed to your tone of voice.

Barriers to Strategic Communication

Keeping aside one's personal characteristics that may act as a barrier to strategic communication, there are external factors as well that may impede the achievement of your goals.

  • One example of such a barrier is the language and cultural gap. Avoid the use of slang, abbreviations, and uncommon expressions to prevent any misunderstanding on account of the gap. Diversity should become the norm, and inclusivity should replace discrimination.
  • Then there are the emotional barriers. Such barriers may stop one from listening to any message without prejudices, uncertainties, or fears.

It takes much effort to break down such barriers amongst others. The most important question, however, is why it is important to do so.

Like any other art, the art of strategic communication requires immense commitment on your part. But it is worthwhile as it helps you nurture professional relationships, become more productive, and develop a sense of belonging.

About the author: Dr Aakanksha Gupta is an author and Vice President for Media and Communications at S.K. Educations Pvt. Ltd., an award-winning school chain with presence all over the country.

Dr Aakanksha joined the firm in 2020 after working in the field of healthcare for over two years. She coordinates and promotes open lines of communication between the Bachpan and AHPS franchisees, the corporate office, the company's intended clientele, and the broader public. She also creates fresh initiatives and approaches to raise brand and product awareness.

Last updated on 13 Dec 2022
08:48 AM
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