What Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Richard Branson agree to be the most important skill needed to succeed

What Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Richard Branson agree to be the most important skill needed to succeed

It happens too often. An email sent to the wrong person, with a tone too professional, or sometimes too casual. This type of communication mishap can be embarrassing and even detrimental.  

Communication can affect morale, user behavior, and even branding. In fact, billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Richard Branson agree that having good communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, is important to success. 


What each billionaire says about communication

Bill Gates: “Communication skills and the ability to work well with different types of people are very important … software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”

Warren Buffett: “Without good communication skills you won’t be able to convince people to follow you even though you see over the mountain and they don’t.”

Richard Branson: “Communication makes the world go round. It facilitates human connections, and allows us to learn, grow, and progress. It’s not just about speaking or reading, but understanding what is being said — and in some cases what is not being said. Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.”


Some tips on communication for students

A typical listener processes 170 to 190 words per minute. According to Donna Van Natten, if we use fewer than 170 words per minute, we are less dynamic, and our listener will zone out. However, if we use more than 210 words, our audience will get lost and shut down. 
Adapting one’s talking speed given the topic and audience can be a great advice for students as they begin to develop their communication skills in high school. A good foundation in communication strategy can give them a head start to a successful career. 


Dive deeper into the cover story.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jochen Hsia

I am excited to work with teachers on equipping students with the right skills to succeed in the future.