What do you say to those hard-nosed managers with the trail of letters after their names who tell you they do not believe in any of those "touchy-feely" communication skills? Tell them this: "You can't win the dance contest if no one invites you to the party." Communication skills are vital ingredients for all members of the workforce and understanding the importance of organizational behavior is critical to the success of any business or organization.

You Can't Win the Dance Contest If No One Invites You to the Party

• Learning To Dance – The Importance of Technical Skills

There is no argument with the fact that certain technical skills are needed to perform a specific job successfully. A fisherman must learn how to bait a hook, a baker must know how to knead bread and a ballet dancer must be able to pirouette. Technical skills need to be learned and practiced if a tradesman is ever to become successful in a trade. There is a strong argument, however, against the notion that a successful businessperson needs only to have technical skills. If anyone is naïve enough to think he or she can work in any organization without the ability of communicating well, listening well and motivating other people, rest assured that only a short amount of time will pass before he or she comes to realize that notion is a recipe for certain disaster.

For example, a brilliant engineer can develop the most wonderful mousetrap in the world. But if he or she can not get the configuration and build information properly conveyed to the manufacturing team, they would never be able to build it. More importantly, if he or she can not promote his or her vision of extraordinary benefit to his or her customer, the engineer will not even be able to sell his or her creation. Of what use are the technical skills then?

Learning a skill gives you nothing more than license to practice your craft in a specific field. But, a dancer can never win the contest if he or she is not socially apt enough to gain an invitation to the party. Technical expertise must be coupled with the ability to communicate and motivate others to share your ideas and visions.

• Getting Invited to Dance – The Importance of Communication Skills

The objective of any business is to survive, grow, and generate a long-term profit. To do so, the organization must first be able to find or create a market for its product – they must be able to sell their vision. This, however, is not only true for an overall business but also for individuals gathered together within an organization. Ideas, thoughts, and visions must be sold, coordinated, and managed with all of the teams (or departments) within the organization.

An idea must gain acceptance before it can be promoted to a project level where others participate to bring the idea to reality. To have any idea accepted by another person, the individual who conceived the idea must be able to communicate the value of the idea to the other person. Once the idea has passed from the concept of one individual to the shared interest of another, an organizational team begins to form.

Trust must be established with all team members while working the idea from the concept stage to a successful conclusion. No one in the business world is willing to expend time or energy with an individual they cannot trust. The ability to gain the trust of a coworker – or even a customer – is one of those "touchy-feely" interpersonal skills that are critical to business success.

Knowing a partner has the technical expertise to dance may be a good start, but accepting their vision for the choreography of the dance they propose to win the contest means you must understand their proposal – which means they must be able to communicate their vision to you properly. Further, you must also be able to trust that a partner will not drop you in the middle of the contest. Again, establishing trust is not a technical skill; it is an interpersonal skill you will need to be invited to the party.

• Winning the Contest – Business Success

So what about those "touchy-feely" communication skills? Are they necessary? Absolutely. Combined with technical skills, communication skills are vital ingredients for all members of the workforce and understanding the importance of organizational behavior is critical for all businesses to succeed.

♦ ♦ ♦

If you are looking for more information on business management, you might be interested in some of the other articles I've written:

How to Create an Effective Performance Appraisal System, Qualities of an Effective Leader, Understanding the Concept of Opportunity Cost, Basics of How to Counsel an Employee for Improper Behavior, Understanding the Basics of Cost Accounting, Understanding the Use of Financial Ratios in Management of Working Capital