Good Communication Skills -
Key to Any Success
Good communication skills are key to success in
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
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 communication skills:
1. 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.
2. 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. 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
4. 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 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 Communication Skills
- 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
All new skills take time to refine, however, with effort and
practice you can develop good, even exceptional, communication skills.
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