Good Communication Skills - Key to Any
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
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
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 communication skills:
- 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 more, 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.
- Listen. Communication
is a two way street.
After you've said what you have to say, stop, listen, and look for
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 the opportunity to discuss your message and 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
beunderstood. 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
As long as you understand each other, are cordial and respectful, you
can still have a successful exchange.
Tips for Developing Good Communication Skills
- To obtain a better command of the English language (or any
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 communicate.
- 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
being open-minded 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.
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 people.
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,
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