Good communication skills are key to success
in life, work and relationships. Without effective communication,
a message can turn into error, misunderstanding, frustration, or even
disaster by being misinterpreted or poorly delivered.
Communication is the process by which we exchange information
between individuals or groups of people. It is a process where we try as clearly and accurately as we can, to convey our thoughts,
intentions and objectives.
Communication is successful only when both the sender and the receiver
understand the same information.
In today's highly informational and
technological environment it has become increasingly important to have good
While many individuals still continue to
struggle, the inability to communicate effectively will hold them back
not only in their careers, but in social and personal relationships.
The steps for acquiring good
Know what you want to say and why.
Understand clearly the purpose and intent of your message.
Know to whom you are communicating and why. Consider any barriers
you may encounter such as cultural differences or situational
circumstances (gender, age, or economic biases). Ask yourself what
outcome you want to achieve and the impression you want to leave.
How will you say it?
We're all aware by now, that it's not always what you say,
but how you say it that counts. Begin by making eye contact. You inspire trust
and confidence when you look a person in the eyes when you speak.
Second, be aware of your body language since it can say as much, or
than your words. By standing with arms easily at your side you tell
others that you are approachable and open to hearing what they have
to say. If instead, your arms are crossed and shoulders hunched, it
suggests disinterest or unwillingness to communicate. Good posture
and an approachable stance help make even difficult communication
flow more smoothly. Make sure you speak in a cooperative,
non-adversarial tone. Be nonjudgmental.
Communication is a two way street. After you've said what
you have to say, stop, listen, and look for feedback and clues of
comprehension. While the person is responding avoid any impulses to
cut them off or listen only for the end of the sentence so that you
can blurt out more ideas or thoughts that come to your mind.
Respectfully give them your full attention. When they are finished,
to ensure that your message has been clearly and correctly
understood, ask open questions and encourage discussion. Fine-tune
your message if necessary.
Reach understanding, agreement or consensus.
Once you have had to opportunity to discuss your
the feedback to it, re-visit the purpose of the interchange. Have
you reached common ground, solved a problem, or clarified your
position? If the purpose was to teach or instruct, have you
accomplished your goal? To communicate well is to understand and be
understood. Make sure that your message has been received as
intended and that any questions or concerns have been alleviated.
You can even agree to disagree. There are no guarantees that your
communication efforts will be meet with total compliance and
agreement. As long as you understand each other, are cordial and
respectful, you can still have a successful exchange.
More Tips for Developing Good
To obtain a better command of the English language (or any other
language), expand your vocabulary by reading
and writing more. Look up words you're not familiar with. The
better you are able to express yourself, the better your ability to
Practice your listening skills. Be considerate of other speakers
by waiting until they are done before stating your views. Process
what has being said before responding.
Learn to understand and appreciate opposing points of view by
and making an effort to see things from another's perspective.
It will in turn, gain you more cooperation and understanding.
Avoid trying to communicate when in an emotional state. You lose
objectivity and may say something inappropriate or regrettable. Take
time to think your position through before speaking.
Join an organization such as Toastmasters that encourages you to
develop a variety of communication skills as well as allowing you the
opportunity to meet new and interesting
When you take the time to acquire and hone good communication
skills you open yourself up to better relationships, more career
opportunities, and increased self-confidence.
Moreover, you reach higher levels of mutual understanding and cooperation
while successfully attaining your goals.
All new skills
take time to refine, however, with effort and practice you can develop
good, even exceptional, communication skills.