In any number of industries, strong leadership often hinges on conveying information clearly to the people who need to hear it.
If you’re a business analyst who wants to climb to a senior level position, strong communication practices go doubly for you.
Believe it or not, miscommunications are one of the most common reasons for “failure” in the BA world. When there’s a missing link in the chain of information, you may end up with a botched project and an unhappy client.
And that’s one surefire way to knock yourself down a few rungs on the corporate ladder. But I’m here to show you how to avoid that, so that you can get the senior level BA position that gives you the salary you deserve.
Know your audience.
There’s a difference between talking at someone and talking with someone. When you talk at someone, you simply rehash information that may fly over her head. Especially if you’ve got a lot of material to cover, it’s very common for vital details to fly out the window.
On the other hand, when you talk with someone, you involve her in the communication. When she feels as if she’s a part of a team, she will be more active in the conversation.
Think of this quote from Benjamin Franklin, and how it applies to your communication skills.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
While this idea makes reference to education, it also applies to your career and future success. It boils down to this: successful communication happens when you understand the needs and preferences of your audience.
When you hold a meeting with your stakeholders, take some time beforehand to get familiar with their responsibilities and job roles. Put yourself in their shoes, and involve them in the conversation, and you’ll find there are fewer communication gaps to bridge.
Pinpoint the preferred communication methods.
It’s a digital age that we’re living in. It seems as if most of our conversations happen over a screen rather than from across a table. But just because Skype is available doesn’t mean that your stakeholders will want to use it.
That’s right: some people actually prefer to see you in-person! (I know, can you believe it?)
The same rule applies for phone calls and emails. Figure out which communication forum works best for your stakeholders, and you’ll find yourself in a much better position.
As you work your way up to a senior analyst position, you’ll be glad that you dedicated a lot of your time to effective communication strategies. And as you may already know, it’s best to get together with your team before to discuss a communication plan of action.
Of course, the worst part is not knowing where to start. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a confusion rut, and you don’t know how you can avoid those devastating communication mishaps…
Join me for my upcoming 2-day workshop. Details coming soon…