MA Blogger: Brenda Bernstorf
Speaking about the communication skills of young executives, Annmarie Neal, a former Cisco executive says, ”I continue to believe that two of the most important skills in the innovation economy are in thinking critically (about problems, situations, market ideas) and then the ability to communicate (an idea, a recommendation, a plan forward) in a way that is not only thoughtful and compelling but also in a way that influences others to take action.”
“The ability to write and speak persuasively go hand in hand” according to Wagner and Dintersmith (2015).
Communication is the process of conveying ideas verbally, through written form, or in an exchange of information. Learning to write effectively for the purpose of communication is a skill that children need to function in a 21st century economy. If what Ms. Neal says above is true, children and adults need to learn to fully express critical thinking and strategic thinking in a way that compels and influences people to take action. This means the writing must be clear enough to actually communicate. Effective communication is clear – it leaves no room for the reader to misinterpret the meaning. Effective communication uses appropriate grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
Once the writing clearly defines the problem and clarifies the solution then the person can use verbal skills to persuasively exchange information.
Teaching writing skills is time consuming and requires useful feedback. Very little writing is necessary if teachers and students are judged by test scores. Effective writing skills aide in the development of all of the other communication skills.
Wagner & Dintersmith (2015). Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids For The Innovation Era. Scribner: New York.