Developing Effective Communication Skills BY CHATTING WITH STRANGERS
Effective communication skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life. Many roles require strong communication skills. People with good communication skills also usually enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family.
Effective communication is therefore a key interpersonal skill and learning the way to improve your communication has many benefits. However, many of us find it difficult to understand where to start out. This page sets out the foremost common ‘problem areas’ and suggests where you would possibly focus your attention.
Many people appreciate that they need a drag with communication skills, but struggle to understand where to start out to enhance. There are variety of the way that you simply can identify particular problem areas, including:
• Ask your friends, family and colleagues to advise you. Most of the people are going to be happy to assist you together with your journey towards self-improvement. They’ll even are expecting just this chance for a few time.
• • Use a self-assessment tool like our Interpersonal Skills Self-Assessment. This may assist you to spot the foremost important areas for improvement.
• • you’ll instead simply work to enhance the foremost common problem areas and see what happens.
Four Key Areas for Improvement
There are generally four main areas of communication skills that the majority folks would had best to enhance, These are listening, non-verbal communication, emotional awareness and management, and questioning.
1. Learn to concentrate
One of the foremost common areas to wish improvement is listening.
We all have a bent to forget that communication may be a two-way process. We fall under the trap of ‘broadcasting’, where we just issue a message, and fail to concentrate to the response. quite lot of the time, we aren’t really taking note of others in conversation, but brooding about what we decide to say next.
Improving your listening skills is probably going to pay off in improvements in your relationships both at work and reception.
What, however, is listening? Listening isn’t an equivalent as hearing. Learning to concentrate means not only listening to the words being spoken but also how they’re being spoken and therefore the non-verbal messages sent with them. It means giving your full attention to the person speaking, and genuinely concentrating on what they’re saying—and what they’re not saying.
Good listeners use the techniques of clarification and reflection to verify what the opposite person has said and avoid any confusion. These techniques also demonstrate very clearly that you simply are listening, a bit like active listening.
2. Studying and Understanding Non-Verbal Communication
Much of any message is communicated non-verbally. Some estimates suggest that this might be the maximum amount as 80% of communication.
It is therefore important to think about and understand non-verbal communication—particularly when it’s absent or reduced, like once you are communicating in writing or by telephone.
Non-verbal communication is usually thought of as visual communication, but it actually covers much more. It includes, for instance, tone and pitch of the voice, body movement, eye contact, posture, countenance , and even physiological changes like sweating.
You can therefore understand people better by paying close attention to their non-verbal communication. you’ll also make sure that your message is conveyed more clearly by ensuring that your words and visual communication are consistent.
3. Emotional Awareness and Management
The third undersung area of communication is awareness of our own and other people’s emotions, and a capability to manage those emotions.
At work it’s easy to fall under the trap of thinking that everything should be logical, which emotion has no place, However, we are human and thus messy and emotional. None folks can leave our emotions at home—and nor should we attempt to do so. That’s to not say that we should always ‘let it all hang out’. However, an awareness of emotions, both positive and negative, can definitely improve communication.
This understanding of our own and others’ emotion is understood as Emotional Intelligence.
There is considerable evidence that it’s much more important to success in life than what we’d call ‘intellectual intelligence’.
Emotional intelligence covers a good range of skills, usually divided into personal skills and social skills. The private skills include self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation. The social skills include empathy and social skills. All of those is weakened into more skills.
• Self-awareness consists of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence.
• Empathy is that the ability to ‘feel with’ others: to share their emotions and understanding them. It includes understanding others, developing them, having a service orientation, valuing and leveraging diversity, and political awareness.
Fundamentally, the principle behind the various skills that structure emotional intelligence is that you simply need to remember of and understand your own emotions, and be ready to master them, so as to know and work well with others.
4. Questioning Skills
The fourth area where many of us struggle is questioning.
Questioning may be a crucial skill to make sure that you simply have understood someone’s message correctly. it’s also a really great way of obtaining more information a few particular topic, or just starting a conversation and keeping it going. Those with good questioning skills are often also seen as excellent listeners, because they have a tendency to spend much more time drawing information out from others than broadcasting their own opinions.
These four key areas of communication all share one common characteristic: they’re all (or mostly) about receiving messages.
There are, however, also important things that you simply can do to enhance the likelihood of having the ability to ‘transmit’ a message effectively.
• Do not simply say the primary thing that comes into your head. Instead take a flash and pay close attention to what you say and the way you say it.
• Focus on the meaning of what you would like to speak.
Consider how your message could be received by the opposite person, and tailor your communication to suit . By communicating clearly, you’ll help avoid misunderstandings and potential conflict with others. You can, for instance, make sure they need understood by asking them to reflect or summarise what they need heard and understood.
It also can be helpful to pay particular attention to differences in culture, past experiences, attitudes and skills when conveying your message. Avoid jargon and over-complicated language, and explain things as simply as possible. Always avoid racist and sexist terms or any language which will cause offence.
For more about this, see our pages on Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Awareness.
You may also find it helpful to read our pages about Verbal Communication, Effective Speaking and Building Rapport.