Powerful interpersonal communication is a key factor in your success as an executive or professional. What the vast majority of career executives do not know is that the communication skills necessary for success in the 20’s are not the same communication skills necessary for success in your 40’s or 50’s.
Let’s take a closer look at the interpersonal communication skills necessary for each decade of your career, and the differences in each decade.
The same behaviors we accept from a 25-year-old we won’t accept from someone who is 35 or 45 years old.
The 20s – In your 20s, it’s all about making your mark through task completion which allows you to be a great individual producer.
We’ve all known people who get stuck in a task orientation mindset that lasts late into their careers. They were probably recognized for how well they did tasks in their 20s, so they have a challenging time letting go of that reward decades later.
The 20’s are a time to be building your relationship skills and industry knowledge while personally getting things done in a noticeable way.
The 30s – In your 30s you’re expected to collaborate. You have to develop the ability to enlist the support of others rather than doing it all alone. Often your life has more demands such as family or living in a new country.
There is a growing recognition that your job is getting bigger and you can’t do it all yourself. Your choices at this point can lead to missteps or set the stage for accelerated career growth.
Influencing cross-functional change, speaking up early and with confidence are beginning to become much more important at this time.
The 40s – The years of the early 40s are the most pivotal point in your career trajectory, because they determine where you’ll end up years later. Studies have shown some greatly accelerate, some flatten out, and others drop out. It all depends on the choices you make. You can break out or burn out in your 40s. You are know the person your employees talk about at the dinner table.
Your 40s can be a time of metamorphosis that will propel you through the last half of your career or a mid-life crisis that can stall you out. Relationships become more important than the tasks you do personally. Can you influence, persuade and motivate others to get things done?
The 50s and beyond – This is the period of harvesting the hard work you’ve done for the last several decades. In your 50s and 60s seasoned leadership is displayed by moving large groups to successful outcomes with value-based integrity and wisdom gained through impeccable listening. You have the opportunity to be a role model and keeper of the culture no matter what level you are in the organization.
Being an outstanding listener who is able to provide wisdom in simple and concise terms is the key skill.
All of these things help you build your legacy. A big-picture, strategic view is necessary since you’re now the orchestra conductor looking at the musical score for all the musicians.
Leave a Reply