Career Advice

Communication Skills for Engineers – The Seven Deadly Sins and How to Overcome Them
Anthony Fasano posted on June 11, 2015 |
This episode of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast focuses on communication skills for engi...

The following is a summary of Episode 63 of my podcast, The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast. I will summarize the main points in this post; however, you can also listen to the show through the website or by subscribing on iTunes. I offer a career-changing tip at the end of each podcast session.

This episode of The Engineering Career Coach (TECC) Podcast focuses on communication skills for engineers. I interview Skip Weisman who is an internationally recognized expert in workplace communication skills for engineers and discuss workplace communication, one of the skills that is critical to building your engineering career.

Skip Weisman works with small business owners and their teams to create “championship company cultures,” by getting all individuals in the work environment to communicate more effectively together. He was a CEO for 5 different professional baseball franchises in the U.S. and has been invited to speak to engineering organizations and associations to help engineers and project managers to communicate more effectively within their own organizations, as well as to serve clients at much higher levels to improve project profitability. Weisman has appeared on Fox Business News and is often quoted in articles for and US News & World Report on workplace communication issues.

According to Weisman, engineers take a 67% risk of damaging important relationships with people every time they speak. Skip gives us the three potential outcomes with regards to communication skills for engineers: (1) building relationship, (2) eroding trust, and (3) instantly destroying the trust.

Communication Skills for Engineers

Listen to this session and learn the seven biggest mistakes engineers make that cause virtually all of their communication problems:

  1. Lack of specificity – lazy communication habits, communication that is not specific enough
  2. Lack of desirable behaviors – telling people what not to do (e.g. do not forget to do this or that, etc.) instead of what we do want them to do
  3. Lack of immediacy – putting off a difficult conversation (e.g. bad news, problems), communication procrastination
  4. Lack of respectful rebuttals – using BUT (e.g. we wanted to give you a raise BUT), people know something bad is coming, use AND instead
  5. Lack of appropriate tone and body language – raised voices, yelling, pointing, stems from lack of emotional intelligence
  6. Lack of focused attention – when you are multitasking when someone is talking to you, this is devaluing the other person
  7. Lack of directness and candor – not talking about the elephants in the room, people talking in general context hoping people get what they really mean

Weisman also discusses in detail the reasons why these communication mistakes occur and perpetuate and he also gives some simple strategies to overcome these mistakes.  He really digs into the importance of communication skills for engineers.

Which of the seven communication mistakes do you think you need to reduce or eliminate in your engineering career and life?

Anthony Fasano, PE, author of Engineer Your Own Success, found success as an engineer at a very early age and now writes and podcasts to help other engineers do the same. Visit Anthony’s website at to access all of the free engineering career resources he has created to help engineers succeed.

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