The Most Important Skill You Can Learn in College

Modern college is a lot of smoke and mirrors.  Professors are pushing their social agendas.  Most classes are a complete waste of time.  Essentially you are there to get piece of paper that says you can complete a task.

If want to get the most out of your college career, you need to make sure you master the most important skill.  That is the ability to communicate both when speaking and by writing.

In the real world, how well you speak is the most important factor for your career progression.

Think about it in the fraternity setting.  There is that one guy who always gets up in a meeting and babbles not making much sense.  Immediately that guy is discounted as not very bright because he cannot communicate.  It doesn’t matter if this is true or not.

My Mom always said it is better to keep your mouth shut and have everyone think you are idiot than to open it and remove all doubt.  Truer words have never been spoken.

Take advantage of your college setting to become a better communicator.  Take speech classes as often as your schedule permits.  Get that practice presenting.

Speak up in your chapter meeting.  Take a leadership position so you are comfortable addressing an audience.  The more practice you get the more prepared you will be for the real world.

This is how your potential will be evaluated.  Those who can communicate are seen as smarter than they really are.  They are the ones that are earmarked for future opportunity and advancement – regardless of the substance to what they say.

The same goes for writing.  The corporate world has turned everyone into email pushers.  It is disgusting and I hate it, but it is reality.  That means most of your communication will be done through writing.

Learn how to write an email as effectively and efficiently as possible.  Some pointers:

  • In the very first line, state what you want. If you want approval for something, ask for it.  If you are just sharing information as an FYI – then state that.  Don’t let the reader try to figure out why you are emailing them.
  • Keep it short. If it takes more than several lines call instead of email.
  • Write in bullet points. No one has time or wants to read a novel.  Putting your comments in a bullet format makes them easier to read.
  • Make your subject line very clear what the email is about. Chances are your email will be filed away someday.  You want to make it easy for the reader to search for it later.

Also, learn how to write clearly using proper grammar.  Someday your boss will have you put together a report on something that he thinks is important.  Your boss will think less of you if it is littered with typos and poor sentence structure.

Communicating is the differentiator in the corporate world.  Spend your time mastering this skill in college.  You have ample opportunity in an environment where it doesn’t really matter if you have growing pains.

This will better prepare you for success when you graduate.


Recent Posts