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Communication: The Skill

"Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success. She can accomplish nothing unless she can communicate effectively.” - Anonymous.

There is much truth in this quote, therefore it is a topic well worth our attention.

We all communicate every day, day in and day out and most people do it with considerable skill. For the most part, we communicate effectively because we communicate in very personal exchanges with people we know, often one on one or within small groups and it works rather well most of the time. This fits a very simple definition of communication, the getting and giving of information, also known as a conversation.

Communication at all levels of an organization, can be a challenge. It can quickly move from the simple conversations to much more complex and difficult methods of communications. From personal to public the process of communication becomes more difficult. From oral to written it again becomes even more difficult for most. From the written word to electronic communications another new twist of complexity joins the challenge.

In a simple face to face conversation we can hear the rate of speech, the tone or pitch and the rhythm of how the message is delivered. A long pause in the conversation can also communicate and important element to the message. We can also use the body language of those involved to more completely understand the true nature of the message being delivered. For the skilled conversationalist, these elements of a conversation can communicate much.

Even in a simple casual conversation between two people, a message can become tangled and not well understood. The more we move away from the simplest of personal conversations, the more difficult it can become to communicate effectively. Many of the communication clues provided in a simple person to person conversation are often lost when we move to writing our message in a newsletter or e-mail. Yet, there are times when we need to communicate with large numbers of people making written communications the only real option.

Your Writing

Here are a few ideas to help improve your writing and ensure it will be received and understood as you intend.

(For a list of commonly used acronyms in the Legion and veteran communities visit my FAQ page.)

For more detailed information on improving your writing skills watch this short video from MindTools.


Getting Your Message Across Clearly