Stanley: Communication is Key for Success in Business


Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, was known as “The Great Communicator.” He earned this title because of his skill in communicating complex issues in easy to understand terms people could understand. He also projected an optimism that inspired people. He deeply cared if his audience connected with his message, so he would seek honest feedback from his staff on his speeches to see where he needed to improve. Each of us also has the ability to be a great communicator. We may not speak before Congress, but we speak in front of our customers, our coworkers, and family all the time. In addition, we communicate in writing in enormous volumes these days. Think about how many emails or texts you send on an average week. Author and Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley notes, “The quality of your writing directly reflects the quality of your work.” I agree with her assertion, and it gives me pause to think about all of the emails I send each day and whether they reflect the quality of communication that they should.

I believe communication is a core skill for great leaders, so I was excited to meet with Mandi recently to learn more about her career and thoughts on being an effective communicator. Mandi grew up in Amory, Mississippi, and graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi State. After college, she moved to Dallas and worked as a technical proposal writer for a healthcare firm. It was in this job that Mandi began to hone her written communication skills and understand the importance of clear and effective writing in the marketplace. She then moved to Kansas City where she took a job with a seminar company. After working for a few months in her new job, she was asked by her employer to try out to be one of the seminar speakers. Her company saw her potential as a speaker and told her she could have the job if she could lose her Southern drawl. She was only 24, so she had to wait seven more months to begin speaking on the road because the rental car companies won’t let you rent a car until you are 25. Mandi shared, “I am glad my boss was patient enough to wait until my birthday because this role launched my career as a speaker. However, I never lost my Southern accent!”

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