Tamika Bass communication skillsTamika Bass joins us today to discuss the importance of effective communication skills. We have spent a lot of time discussing that it is everyone’s responsibility to participate in cybersecurity protections. One big issue in making that happen is to have tech teams communicate effectively with non-tech teams. As Tamika says “if there is no understanding, then communication didn’t happen”.

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In this episode:

Effective Communication Skills Matter – Tamika Bass – Ep 279

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Effective Communication Skills Matter – Tamika Bass

[06:41] Communication issues between technical teams and “everyone else” has been a discussion so many times with so many people. Both sides of the discussion have points and we all need to learn how to do this better. We just spent a month of NCSAM talking about how it requires everyone to protect our systems, networks, and data today. Time to make sure it happens.

Tamika Bass was the keynote speaker for the virtual Secure World Conference in Sept. I so enjoyed her points that I immediately asked her to join us for an episode to discuss this topic.

Build relationships, communicate often, talk the talk, focus on the organizations objectives.

Who are my customers and who are my customers’ customers?

The most influential people are those who can get things done and at the same time build relationships.

Silos happen no matter what size organizations you work with or in.

Important points in communication.

  • Really communicate
  • Develop self-awareness
  • Communication DOES NOT happen without listening
  • Think before you speak
  • Manage your emotions

“Listen to understand instead of to respond.” Our minds are trained to move so fast we are ready to talk before the other person finishes.

Did you pay attention to make sure that person you spoke to really understood what you were saying?

Self-awareness matters. Think about your response. It is ok to think before you respond – really think.

Emotional response to a non-emotional event is not helpful. Learn to manage your emotions to effectively communicate with others.

Taking a few minutes to think about what we just said is a huge point in your presentations. It is hard for most of us.

I loved Tamika’s THINK reminders. It is so much easier to do things right if you have a visualization.


Understand your audience and try to think about what you are saying from their perspective. We have talked often that it is essential to make your training programs explain why does this matter to me and how do I benefit from understanding it.

Don’t do the tech speak. It doesn’t show you know all this stuff. What shows you are really good at technical things is when you can explain those complex concepts you work with to someone else.

Part of understanding your audience is understanding their business. It gets back to know my customer and my customers’ customers. What is important to them is part of understanding how what is important to you can merge with theirs.

This is why the group or organization’s goals and objectives should be more important than your own personal agendas. If you are part of the success of the organization your goals and objectives will be met through that process if you are where you should be right now. If the organization is not communicating on the same page with the same objectives it will eventually lead to some level of disaster.

Sharing the Mighty Ducks example. Kids all tied together on skates was the way to make the team work as one when they couldn’t move at all until they worked together to move as a whole.

Serve your organization, serve others in your organization, serve you customers. That mindset will improve your communication skills to be a part of the objectives first. Using these tips are great ways to get your skills to pick up.

In the Q&A, they covered your comments about coming into the new job and meeting everyone vs starting relationships in a place for a long period of time and never took the time to build these relationships and understanding of each other to move forward. How do you tie together the team that won’t get in the same room nicely?  LOL

Use video in today’s world. We don’t want to be presentable for video but it does help us communicate much better when we see each other. Back in the day when you spent all your time on the phone with folks and your relationship totally changed when you met in person for the first time.

Speaking the same language example you used was great. Doctor’s notes for a tech team to learn what they sound like to everyone else.  Loved it for us in healthcare especially! Translation between us I realize that what makes sense to me isn’t what makes sense to the listener.

How do you think we can start working on the concepts of the mindset of serving within our teams?

Communication skills are something all of us can always improve. If we don’t work on it constantly we start to lose focus on it. Have these conversations with your teams. Brainstorm ideas for better communications with the rest of the organization or your clients or your patients. Most importantly, take the time to consider how important it is for us to be able to secure our businesses if we take the time to effectively get the points across to everyone involved.

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