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I trained a group of graduates recently and was quite shocked as to how difficult they found communicating in the corporate world.  

We ended up having a discussion around why they found communication difficult. They were really honest with me, expressing that they spent most of their time socialising, studying and working online (especially during Covid), that they were finding being in the office, face-to-face was really difficult.  

Communication is a skill many of us who have not been brought up in the world of technology take for granted. Just because a graduate has succeeded in the world of education, do not overestimate how much they know when communicating in person.  

If you are managing a team with graduates, take note of how you can help them communicate more confidently. We want to nurture them in every way, and if we do not boost their confidence in communication, we could crush someone with potential to succeed.  

5 Ways to Get Your Graduates to Communicate More Confidently: 

Set expectations for communication from the beginning 

When your graduates first start, set clear expectations on how to communicate. This is all areas of communication, from written to virtual, to face-to-face. If you expect them to listen in meetings before contributing, tell them up front. If you have not set out expectations from the beginning, expect surprises and frustrations. Explain how your expectations will stop problems in the future.  

Encourage them to give their opinion when appropriate 

When having 121’s and meetings, always ensure you encourage graduates to participate, asking them questions to give them the opportunity to give their opinion. Give them time and make comments so they realise their opinion is a valuable contribution. 

Don’t Dwell on their Mistakes – Let Things Go 

Do not hone in on and overanalyse mistakes made by graduates. Small mistakes happen to everyone. Help them take these situations as experiences to learn from. Going forward focus on how they will improve their communication skills as opposed to wasting time and energy on their mistakes.  

Give them Opportunities to Practise Presenting 

When the opportunity arises for a graduate to present, encourage the graduate to take it. Guide them on how to succeed, coaching them through the process. It will be scary for them, but with support and guidance they will take on the challenge and learn from it.  

Set them up for success. Ensure they rehearse so they feel confident.  

Help them Develop Communication Skills 

We are continuously learning, especially when communicating with people.  Send graduates on communicating workshops. Do not expect them to know everything.  

One of the most powerful workshops I love delivering is called ‘Having Difficult Conversations’. Whenever I deliver this to people from all levels of the organisation, I see ‘lightbulbs’ go on!  

I delivered this workshop face-to-face recently to a group of graduates in an international financial services company. When I was doing my introduction, half of the room had their arms crossed and their body language told me they didn’t want to be there.  Referring to the psychologist Patterson, I made them aware that they were going to be more successful if they opened up difficult conversations and didn’t hold back. And I added that they should go into these conversations positively, and if they went into them with their arms crossed, they would look defensive and negative. Wow! The ‘lightbulbs went on.’ They changed their attitude straight away and realised the importance of being positive for success. These small nuggets of learning are so powerful to help open up communication in a positive way.   

If you want to find out more about how you can help your graduates communicate more effectively, book in Calendly Strategy Call:https://calendly.com/novaassociates/strategy-call?month=2023-04