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can you really talk your way to the top?

a worker talking their way to the top of the business

Have you ever questioned how a peer or friend whom you feel hardly possesses the hard skills to do their own role (let alone a more senior one), appears to be showing rapid career growth and success? Does this put you in an envious frame of mind? Do you question what you’re doing wrong or why they’re out-growing you? The question you should be asking is – can you talk your way to the top?

talking your way to the top is real

What might sound like an unfathomable reason as to why someone is achieving rapid success could actually be the only real reason why? They have the innate ability to communicate in a way that resonates with their managers and seniors.

It is widely regarded that there is such a thing as ‘talking like a boss’. Leaders, CEOs, Directors etc. have a way with words and style that others may not possess. In a lot of cases, when a company director or the CEO enters the room, people feel intimidated. Whilst this is happening, those looking to get to the top are building their relationships with the senior members and refining their senior communication style. What they are doing is showing their softer skills to the rest of the office – the skills you cannot always see, but somehow know are there.

leadership soft skills which aren’t always plain to see

In fact, the confidence to approach directors, present your ideas, talk with authority and inspire those around them is what makes these talkers the people who can actually walk the walk too. As frustrating as it might be, their skills do not lie within technical mastery as such, but more with strategic thinking, delegation and leadership. These are the people who were made for senior roles – they can talk the talk, but know who they need to work with to help them walk it. That’s where you come in – you’re the person that can help them make things happen. You play a vital role in their development as much as your own.

Additionally, these leaders are creative – they have ideas, and they’re not afraid to share them. Alternatively, they recognise good ideas and how to make them great, and they’re not afraid to run with them. It’s often noted that a leader must have the creative nous to have a vision on how to guide their team to achieve the business goal.

Whilst they might not possess the technical know-how to achieve said vision, that’s where their ability to inspire those around them draws collaboration across multiple teams and skill sets to help them achieve their vision.

delegation is the key to success

With their senior communication skills in hand, an idea in their mind and the ability to inspire those around them, what’s left is delegation. It is physically impossible to do everything and so their success also hinges on their ability to delegate effectively. Delegation is key in the successful delivery of a product or project, without the skills to delegate the right work to the right teams at the right time, the final output can be substandard and result in a lack of trust from senior members of the team.

Business leaders are very apt at noticing effective delegation. They will take note that the ‘talker’ has the communication skills to not only talk their way to the top, but can communicate effectively across teams, and downwards in order to achieve business goals.

successful peers talk like leaders without being leaders

Coincidently, there are communication styles and terminologies that impact whether or not you’re resonating at a senior level with a senior member of the team. Terms like “I believe”, rather than “I think” exude both confidence and assertiveness when presenting ideas. Additionally, removing vocalisations like “um” and “err” removes any notion of lacking intelligence or confidence. Those who talk their way to the top are not using these ‘silence fillers’ even if the situation is awkward enough to deem them potentially necessary.

As a result of their communication skills, these types of people are assertive. They are assertive in meetings, in general conversations and with their peers. Their assertive nature allows them to manipulate situations in their favour, which often results in them achieving their desire. However, being assertive isn’t necessarily always enough! These people have great rapport with their network through hard-work, saying the right things at the right time and having enough high-level knowledge and expertise to talk confidently about their work. Merge this with an assertive nature and the result is an authoritative speaker that people naturally listen to and trust in.

recognise success by building relationships

One of the final pieces of the puzzle for those who can talk their way to the top is relationship building. Those with the power to develop working relationships are those who are a step closer to career success.

Relationships matter, at all levels, especially if you want to talk your way to the top. Relationships with your team are equally as important to your success as relationships with senior management. Why? Whilst senior managers have the power to make key decisions that impact your idea, those around you have the power to refer, support and help you to achieve your success. With your peers backing your corner, you will be closer reaching the top than if you only have relationships with senior management. The fall from the top hurts much harder, and the support from the colleagues below is imperative to having strong foundations to lead and grow at the top level of the business.