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What is the most essential skill for those aspiring to leadership positions? As an educator and coach specializing in helping individuals to improve their communication skills, the answer has always seemed obvious: The most effective managers and executives I have encountered are those with top-flight communication skills. I acknowledge that my response is biased, but you don’t have to take my word on this. Ask any college placement officer, hiring manager or Human Resources recruiter you know, or read just about any job listing for a position involving supervisory or executive responsibilities. It will quickly become clear that strong written and oral communication skills are consistently at or near the top of the list of the “most desired skills.” A recent study by Bailey Norwood and Brian Briggeman, professors at Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University, respectively, cited a 2006 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employer (NACE) that ranked... read more

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