General skills

Technical communicators typically exhibit a range of skills, including:

  • excellent communication skills – oral and written
  • empathy – for the budget holder, the end user, the subject matter expert, the personal assistant, the print-shop, the web guy and so on
  • patience
  • responsiveness
  • presentation skills – teaching – training
  • people management
  • good general knowledge
  • advanced computer skills
  • the ability to use a wide suite of tools and learn new tools quickly
  • the ability to read and assess material quickly
  • step back and provide perspective and ‘the big picture’ including understanding (and communicating) the strategic direction and the relationship to the operational level of an organisation
  • facilitate meetings
  • ability to work in teams or alone
  • add value to many aspects of the business
  • behave professionally and ethically, keeping confidential information safe
  • possess business acumen
  • clarity of thought and logical reasoning 

Technical communicators are able to:

  • communicate with a range of people at all levels of an organisation
  • listen
  • negotiate
  • persuade
  • engage with and manage stakeholders expectations
  • work collaboratively with others
  • function as a user advocate
  • guide clients who don’t know what they want
  • recognise limits to their own knowledge
  • communicate value of technical communicators to the business
  • make connections and facilitate communication
  • give and accept feedback graciously
  • mentor less experienced staff
  • present complex situations, relationships and processes in a simple and easy to understand formats, e.g., pictograms, story boards, user cases, etc.

Any comments? (and please tell us where you are writing from)