Ranking of Importance of Communication Skills

I was just reading a newsletter from Ravenwood that listed the ranking of the importance of communication skills in business. Of course it typically comes out as number one. Years ago when I was working on my Masters Degree at Auburn University my major Professor Larry Barker was not only one of the countries leading authorities on body language he was the president of the National Listening Association. He quoted research back in 1982 that listed good communication skills as the number one success factor in business. It is funny to me that anyone would think otherwise. If you don't listen. If you can not express your self and your needs clearly how can you possibly successful. The problem now is that there are fewer and fewer new employees that have even the most basic of communication skills. Here are the lists.
USA Today ranked communication skills #1 among a list of twelve success factors (Problem solving and an understanding of organizational structure ranked #2 and #3 respectively)
The Lamille Report of Top Executives ranked communications skills #1 among a list of ten success factors (Intelligence and integrity ranked #2 and #3 respectively)
A Society for Human Resource Management poll conducted in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal confirmed that "soft skills" now top the career success factor list for experienced employees
A study by the Center for Creative Leadership identified command of soft skills as the leading determinant of successful change management for executives
A study by Office Team concluded sixty-seven percent of HR managers would hire a candidate with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking. Only nine percent would hire someone with strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills