What skills and qualities does today’s communications leader need? The answer might seem straightforward: as a headhunter, 80 per cent of the job descriptions I see essentially contain a list of the same attributes. But core skills are only part of the story. Yvan Deurbroeck, the Swiss-based vice president of international communications at medical technology company Medtronic, puts it this way: “Communications is a special kind of job. One can learn the technical skills, the latest best practice, and study the subject academically at university; but the psychology of it - the ability to listen, persuade and influence - is in your personality”.
The skills cocktail
Ben Atfield is director and co-founder of Ellwood and Atfield. E&A is the largest dedicated communications search and selection consultancy in Europe with offices in London and Brussels. Atfield recently wrote and published the first Brussels-focused remuneration report examining in detail the salaries of communications and public affairs experts in the policy capital of Europe.