George Bernard Shaw hit the nail on the head when he famously said: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Anyone who has ever managed employees, raised children, been in a relationship or worked for more than ten minutes in safety can relate to this quote.

Communication is probably the most important skill any professional can have, but it is critical for Safety Professionals. ASSE, in the "Scope of a Safety Professional" publication state: "Often the safety professional uses more than simple verbal communication in carrying out this function (Implement administer and advise others on hazard controls and hazard control programs). Frequently persuasion is necessary to help people understand why a certain control measure is necessary. In addition, good group leadership skills help other people to determine for themselves what needs to be done. Good communication skills are essential to the job.

In the Spring 2004 Journal of SH&E Research, Vol. 1, Num. 1, "Critical Competencies for SH&E Managers – Implications for Educators" Earl H. Blair identifies the top competencies for Safety Professionals. Leading the pack is communicating effectively. In fact, it outscores every other competency of Safety Professionals – far ahead of technical competency, training, educating, motivating, auditing, hazard recognition and every other competency. Actively listening and caring is not far behind.

Communication skills are also at the top of the list of competencies for ASSE Chapter Leaders.

Communication skills are essential for every leader, but often employees are thrust into a position of having to teach others or present information without having the opportunity to learn effective techniques. This session provides participants with a wide variety of proven tools and techniques that will get the point across. From safety meetings to coaching to delivering technical training, today's supervisors and managers are required to organize and present information in a concise and meaningful way.

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