By Reid Smith-Vaniz, CEO of Reliant Technology

Being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas effectively is a critical part of the job of a storage engineer.

Along with good listening skills and audience awareness, effective communication can help you quickly move to the heart of any problem or discussion.

On the other hand, poor communication can limit the career progression of even the most skilled storage engineers. If you’re looking to advance your career, improving your conversation and communication skills can be just the thing to help you reach the next level.

    1. Effective communication begins with listening. Good communicators can quickly surface the underlying issues because they practice intentional listening. By listening to what the other person wants and needs, you can more efficiently and accurately solve problems while building trust and respect for one another. And while the words of your client or boss are part of the equation, understanding their goals and background will lead to a deeper understanding of the task at hand.

Communication Word Cloud

  1. Use effective words, not exact words. To be effective communicators, storage engineers must be able to dive deep or focus on the big picture depending on their audience. Bringing too much detail to the conversation by using exact words can be an impediment to effective communications. Instead, focus on using words that the listener will understand. While exact words can cause confusion for the listener, effective words will conform to the listener’s level of communication and promote productive conversations.
  2. Don’t be afraid to start a difficult conversation. Don’t be afraid to proactively address the potential problems or issues you may see in the storage environment. While challenging issues may be easier to avoid in the short term, storage engineers who can tackle difficult conversations are a great asset to their team. Whether you are carefully pointing out potential pitfalls to customers or questioning the intentions of a hardware upgrade, speaking up and addressing the difficult questions can make all the difference in your communication with customers and your team.

Where will your communication skills take you? Whether you work in pre-sales, for a VAR, or for a manufacturer, improving your communication can help you take your career as a storage engineer to the next level.

Photo Credit: clockwise from top right. Jordon Cooper, Flickr. CC Licensed. Kari Fuller, Flickr. CC Licensed.

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