Ever overwhelmed by communication with superiors or professionals? When one does not completely understand the proper mechanics of communication, professional speaking is worrisome. Through conducting an interview, the importance of communication in the business world became apparent. According to this interview, communication is a skill highly under practiced in the enormous world of business. In this professional interview with Mr. Aaron Finnegan, a Registered Investment Representative for Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri shares many important factors of business communication to flourish in this industry
What is your professional history (include your timeline and roles)?
Mr. Finnegan: “ I graduated the University of Missouri in 2012. Then, I worked as an insurance adjuster in Kansas City, Missouri for two years. Then, I moved back to St. Louis where I worked at Edward Jones. I started there as a Retirement Specialist for two years, was promoted to a Retirement Specialist Leader, and then to a Fees Leader where I received my final promotion to become a Registered Investment Representative.”
What writing advice do you have for professional communicators?
“Not everyone has the same communications styles, so make sure that you take the time to get to know their type of communication.”
“For example, some of my employees work better when I communicate with them one-on-one and face-to-face, while others work better when I shoot them an email. You have to know how different people best respond to communication.”
What is your one pet peeve when it comes to professional writing?
Mr. Finnegan: “I honestly cannot pick one pet peeve. So, I give you my three biggest pet peeves: communication without a purpose; asking a question and not getting a clear answer; and not formatting the communication to the audience.”
What kind of business reports do you read and/or compose regularly?
Mr. Finnegan: “I mostly read financial reports, market reports, and headcount/review reports. The financial reports mainly have to do with collecting revenue for the firm and the fees department. The market reports are important for me to read because fees are based on the market, so I consistently monitor the market . I also have to ready the headcount/review reports so I know what is going on with my team. The types of reports that I write are mostly internal audit reports, which helps me to insure that all business processes are working, and financial reports or fees collected.”
What are your writing suggestions to make that type of report successful?
“The one writing suggestion I would like to give would have to be that less is more.”
“It is important to get straight to the details because there are already so many reports to be read. People have about a thirty second attention span so the faster you get to the point, the more people will pay attention when they read it. Also, it is important to get straight to the point because when you do so, it reduces the number of questions an individual may have about the matter.”
What speaking advice do you have for professional communicators?
Mr. Finnegan: “I have four things I would like to say to professional communicators: keep it professional, listen before you speak, be personal, and be respectful to your audience.”
Name one thing you wish you had known about business communication prior to your professional career?
Mr. Finnegan: “I wish I would have known how to communicate to my superiors in a structured format. I felt very unprepared in this area whenever I graduated college. I had to learn for myself how to address my superiors formally. Superiors do not have time for a full on conversation. They need to know what’s going on and they need to know quickly.”
After assessing the Burning Glass list of Baseline Skills (2016), which skills not in the top 5 would you move into the top 5…and why?
Mr. Finnegan: “I think that problem solving should be in the top five for sure. Problem solving is very important to me. As busy as I am, I do not have time whatever I’m doing the minute something goes wrong. I expect my team to know how to deal with most of the problems. I understand if the problem is big and they absolutely have to ask me for help, but unless it’s huge, I don’t want to hear it.”
Credit: Burning Glass Technologies
What team skills do you feel young professionals need the most?
Mr. Finnegan: “There are two skills that I feel young professionals need the most: communicating clearly, and learning how to plan and organize.”
From this interview, one can learn how to communicate with different audiences of all ages. This subject has significant emphasis, because no matter what, business communication is a main factor. Through this interview, the importance of finding the best way to communicate to each person was completely understood. Millennials might respond better to a text message or an email–something technology based. However, the baby boomers might respond better to a phone call or a face-to-face delivery of the message. Another key takeaway when communicating to your superiors is to be concise. Business has a reputation of being precise. Communication originally thought that the more words in an email or report the better. However, this is not the case. Superiors in the business world are extremely busy and do not have the time to read a lengthy report. The average attention span is only 10-20 minutes, so keep information concise with communication in the business world.
Biography of Aaron Finnegan
Mr. Aaron Finnegan graduated the University of Missouri in 2012 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. After graduating college, he took the profession as an insurance adjuster for the following two years in Kansas City, Missouri. After those two years, Mr. Finnegan decided to move home to St. Louis, Missouri where he landed a job at Edward Jones Investments working as a Retirement Specialist. Two years went by until he was promoted to a Retirement Specialist Leader. Within a year or so, he then was promoted to a Fees Leader. Finally, after about another year, he was promoted again to a manager for the Client Fee Billing Department. Since graduating college in the year of 2012, Mr. Finnegan has been employed as a Registered Investment Representative.
Casey Cepicky is a collegiate sophomore from St. Louis, Missouri who attends the University of Southern Indiana. She is majoring in Business Administration as well as being a collegiate athlete performing on the University of Southern Indiana’s Volleyball team.