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Do You Talk Too Much?

Friday, June 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Listening and communication go hand in hand, from our personal relationships to our workplace. In an organization, learning how to listen and have two-way communication with others is vital to effective leadership and management. Listening and communication help managers perform the basic functions of planning, organizing, implementing and leading their team’s goals. To get the job done, good managers must be able to communicate with their subordinates both orally and in written communication in the form of letters, reports and memos. Listening skills, questioning skills and communication skills are closely linked, and to be an effective listener and communicator takes practice.

Adults spend an average of 70 percent of their time engaged in some sort of communication, of which 45 percent is spent listening, 30 percent speaking, 16 percent reading and 9 percent writing. Because the importance of listening in communication is so crucial, many employers provide listening skills training for their employees. In business, good listening and communication can lead to increased sharing of information, which in turn can lead to more motivated employees, greater productivity, innovative work, better customer service and better customer satisfaction.

Communication Is Part of an MBA Program

If you are thinking about pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree, you may already know that earning an MBA can change or advance your career. By getting an MBA, you can grow your business acumen, gain leadership skills and an understanding of business strategies, increase your earning potential and your marketability, and further develop your listening and communication skills. The importance of listening in communication is part of an MBA program.

In addition to your study of core courses — including accounting, finance, statistics, strategy, marketing, operations, technology and information systems — you will learn organizational theory and essential MBA skills and competencies, such as leadership, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and analytical skills, strategic thinking, quantitative/research skills, presentation, project management, and evaluation skills.

Interpersonal skills — those competencies that show how adept you are at communicating and building relationships with a variety of people – can set you apart as a leader. Interpersonal, also called “soft” skills top the list of abilities and knowledge employers desire most when interviewing MBA candidates for hire (8.6 on a scale from 0 to 10), according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2013 Global Management Education Graduate Survey. The annual QS Jobs & Salary Trends Report says that soft skills have always topped employers’ wish lists. Interpersonal skills are necessary to help you work with and inspire others, whether you are working with clients or peers, or those you are managing.

Employers also are turning more often to recruiting new MBA hires via social media. Employers surveyed in the GMAC study emphasized to students the importance of developing networking skills as part of their professional MBA skills and competencies. Networking and creating a social account on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter could be difficult if you have not learned effective listening and communication skills.

Competitive Edge

An MBA can give you an advantage over the competition in business-related fields by providing you with a solid foundation of indispensable business acumen, soft skills and competencies. The knowledge and skills such as communication that you learn in an MBA program can allow you to continue learning about the business world, as well as social and personal relationships, long after you have graduated with your degree.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online MBA program.


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