Good communicators often undervalued

In more than 15 years at Nedbank Namibia, Gernot De Klerk has dedicated himself to being the best communicator he can be.

26 November 2021 | Business

PULL QUOTE: Gernot De Klerk, Nedbank Namibia: “Good communicators are generally undervalued and not seen as critical, but there is no question about the value of a person who can communicate effectively”.

Iréne-Mari van der Walt

After starting his law degree before pursuing a career in broadcasting, Gernot De Klerk would eventually end up at Nedbank Namibia. He first entered the public relations and communications field in the corporate communications department for Scorpion Zinc. De Klerk said after eight years in broadcasting, he made the shift to corporate communications because he “felt the need to change”.

Fifteen years ago, De Klerk started his journey with Nedbank Namibia and is still dedicated to mastering the art of effective communication.

“If we haven’t learnt from the pandemic, we need communications. There is a compassionate side of any entity and we need someone to speak about the things that touch us all. There is definitely a need for communication and one needs to be precise in communications,” he said.

He believes that great communicators are often overlooked. “What people generally don’t understand is that a great communicator is not needed until there is a need for them. Good communicators are generally undervalued and not seen as critical, but there is no question about the value of a person who can communicate effectively,” he said.

He believes that it is only those who care to look who will see the value in an effective communicator. “The thing about communications is that there is a degree of complacency. People are not sure how much they need it, but I think a real modern leader understands the value of people who can communicate well,” he said.

He added that the most vital parts of his job are the less obvious elements. “You must be able to construct a message. Any message is only as good as its recipient’s ability to process it.”

De Klerk believes that good communicators must be able to predict the recipient’s need for signalling. “A good communicator sends a message to the audience that tells them what they needed to hear. You need to be able to predict the need for what people need to hear so the message can reach them in the right way at the right time.”

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