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Which Behavior Interferes the Most with Business Success? The Results Are In!


Strong communication skills are essential to professional success. But what exactly are the elements of strong communication? As executive communication coaches, we’re aware that there are a range of factors that can make or break a professional interaction. However, we were curious to see which ones business professionals perceived as having the biggest influence on whether communication was successful or not. To get the answer to this question, we conducted our own informal research on a group of CEOs and asked:

Which of the following behaviors interferes most with business success?
Participants were given a list of six communication behaviors and asked to rate each on a scale of one to five (with five interfering the most with success). Here are the results in ascending order (i.e., with the characteristics that interfere the least listed first):

  • People who speak in a monotone voice (2.25)
  • People with strong foreign accents (2.5)
  • People who speak too quickly (2.75)
  • People who use excessive filler words, upspeak or vocal fry (3.5)
  • People who mumble and swallow their words (4.4)
  • People who ramble and don’t get to the point (4.75)

While all characteristics were found to be limiting to success, mumbling and inefficient communication (i.e., rambling) topped the list, scoring a whopping 4.4 and 4.75 points out of 5 respectively! In many ways, this isn’t surprising: if a speaker is mumbling, not only do they come across as unprofessional and lacking confidence, but there’s a high probability that their message will not be fully understood. Likewise, a speaker who rambles and isn’t able to make their point in a clear, articulate way will lose their listener’s interest and fail to get their main message across.

What communication quirks do you think most interfere with business success? Which ones do you struggle with the most? Join the conversation in the comment section below!

If your communication skills are holding you back from professional success and you want to make your communication skills your most powerful professional tool, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.

Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can improve your professional life! Call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at jayne@corporatespeechsolutions.com to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

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