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Where to Start
Nearly every job posting contains the words “strong communication skills” or “effective communication skills.” However, building strong communication skills isn’t something that can happen overnight. Individuals can work on their skills as they communicate with others in business or with vendors and external service providers. Although, this may not be enough to gain the skills needed to succeed. An online Master of Communication Management degree involves coursework, education, and real-world situations that will help rising professionals learn how to communicate more effectively in their career paths.
Communicating With C-Level Professionals
In any position, a professional may find themselves in a position that requires communication with members of the C-suite. Although each individual C-level executive will have a preferred method of communication, knowing how to connect with someone in this role is vital to success. For some, the thought of presenting to or even chatting with the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO, or CMO is overwhelming.
Learning effective communication skills can extend to communicating with C-level executives. Students in the online Master of Communication Management program can gain the knowledge and tools to identify better communication strategies to apply to their audiences. For example, speaking to the CEO of a company should involve a different approach than speaking to an employee in that same company. A C-level professional likely has a lot less time to devote to a lengthy email, conversation, or presentation, so conciseness is key.
Speaking the language of an executive is another facet of good communication that is important to business success. C-level professionals tend to focus on the bottom line, the potential for growth in the company, the metrics used to measure business progress, and the goals, rather than the smaller picture. Speaking in terms of metrics and goals is a skill that can help a professional get the green light on a project they are working on when seeking approval from the executive team.
Good communication skills can also help professionals mitigate conflict in their careers. Every workplace will have some type of tension or conflict at some point, and these issues are nearly always traced back to poor communication. If someone feels misunderstood or that their emotional needs are being disregarded, conflict tends to bubble up beneath the surface. In any type of management or leadership role, having the abilities to communicate effectively, get to the root of the issue, and resolve conflicts are extremely important.
Identifying and Building Specific Communications Expertise
Tony Robbins, the nation’s leading life and business strategist and best-selling author, stated: “To effectively communicate, we must realize we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Learning to communicate effectively is more than just knowing how to convey a message. Professionals must understand how to listen and respond to their audience, as well as communicate with respect in all situations.
In the Master of Communication Management online program through the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, students have access to a world-class educational experience that can help them make their voices heard. This program applies data-driven strategies and real-world applications to help students gain experience in specific areas of communication. Students can learn how to balance the science and art of communication, which can help them gain an edge in a competitive job market.
This higher educational program helps students gain versatile skills like creative thinking and analytical processing, as well as the ability to convey a message in a manner that is effective and easy to understand. Those in the program may be looking to advance their careers, or they may be just starting out in the professional world and find that it’s difficult to get ahead without effective communication skills.
Implementing a Communication Plan
According to Real Business, communication is more than just discussing day-to-day business processes. Communication should be incorporated into the company culture. When employees at a company feel like they can share their feelings and receive effective communication, they are more likely to enjoy their work and feel like a valued member of the team.
Implementing an open-door communication policy is a good start, but leaders must take a more active role. They can start by delivering messages in a clear, concise manner while listening to feedback from the team. The coursework and focuses of the online Master of Communication Management program can help an individual understand the importance of a communication strategy that impacts every department and employee.
Communication and the Bottom Line
Ultimately, stakeholders and business leaders must see the value of effective communication in order to implement strategies and policies that will improve it. Those who study communication in a higher education program can learn how it impacts a company’s bottom line. For example, internal communication can impact the productivity of employees. When employees don’t know where to turn for support or the resources they need to do their jobs, productivity suffers, resulting in a loss for the company. On the other hand, effective internal communication gives employees access to the tools needed, boosting productivity.
The company can also react more quickly and effectively to changes and shifts in the marketplace or industry when the leaders are aware of those changes and how they impact the business. As a result, a company can achieve or retain a position as a market leader when its executive team members stay aware of any major shifts in its industry.
The Importance of Communication for Remote Teams
Remote, work from home, and telecommuting employees are becoming more common in many businesses across the globe. Communication becomes even more vital for those who may be disconnected from the company’s physical office or other employees. Offering employees the opportunity to work remotely can lessen the financial burden of maintaining a brick-and-mortar location, as well as provide a beneficial and appealing work atmosphere for a potential employee. However, it’s easy for remote and virtual employees to be forgotten members of the team.
Studying communications can help professionals understand how to better keep their virtual employees in the loop and feeling like part of the team. Digital and video-based communication methods have grown in popularity as remote workers have become more commonplace, and these methods are covered in the coursework of the online Master of Communication Management program offered through the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The curriculum mirrors the inter-connectivity of online and in-person communication strategies, connecting research to real-world settings for more hands-on learning opportunities. It’s also a group-based learning atmosphere, which helps students learn to communicate effectively with one another as they dive into areas of strategy and theory that they may not have explored in the past.
Coursework and Focuses
The online Master of Communication Management program through the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is designed to help students gain the skills they need to communicate more effectively and succeed in their chosen career paths. The benefits of the program include the opportunity to learn from faculty members with extensive experience in the communications industry, as well as in academia and the ability to connect with alumni across the globe. The program also ranks among the top in the nation by QS World University Rankings.
The courses and real-life applications will explore current trends in communication, with a special emphasis on the importance of social media and digital communications. The program is meant to teach students how to think, which can help them thrive in an analytics-driven and data-focused workplace. Businesses today need more than just strong communication plans. The leaders of successful companies need clear data that is driven by results and shows how clients and employees perceive their businesses.
Theory is the foundation of the Master of Communication Management online program, but it’s not the destination. Through the study of a blend of theories and real-world situations, students can achieve a learning experience that goes beyond the textbook. They can study the objectives of communication, learning how to ask the right questions and what to do with the answers they receive. The importance of communication extends across every department, and students will take courses designed to help them learn how to speak and listen to managers, customers, stakeholders, the media, and executives.
With an online Master of Communication Management degree from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a professional may have more opportunities to design and implement effective strategies that will benefit every department of a business.