“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
Communication is sending or receiving ideas, thoughts or feelings from one person to one or more persons in such a way that the person receiving it understands it in the same way the sender wants him/her to understand.
The ability to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues, and staff is essential, no matter what industry you work in. Workers in the digital age must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone, email, and social media. Good communication skills will help you in every walk of life.
The Communication Skills: Illustrated in the below slide:
Now we will go through the top 10 communications skills which are very essential.
Top 10 Communication Skills:
Being a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator. No one likes communicating with someone who only cares about putting in her two cents and does not take the time to listen to the other person. If you’re not a good listener, it’s going to be hard to comprehend what you’re being asked to do.
Active listening involves paying close attention to what the other person is saying, asking clarifying questions, and rephrasing what the person says to ensure understanding. Through active listening, you can better understand what the other person is trying to say and can respond appropriately.
2# Nonverbal Communication
Your body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone all convey the message you are trying to convey. A relaxed, open stance (arms open, legs relaxed), and a friendly tone will make you appear approachable, and will encourage others to speak openly with you.
Eye contact is also important; you want to look the person in the eye to demonstrate that you are focused on the person and the conversation. Also pay attention to other people’s nonverbal signals while you are talking.
Nonverbal signals convey how a person is really feeling. For example, if the person is not looking you in the eye, he or she might be uncomfortable or hiding the truth.
3# Clarity and Concision
Good communication means saying just enough – don’t talk too much or too little. Try to convey your message in as few words as possible. Say what you want clearly and directly, whether you’re speaking to someone in person, on the phone, or via email. If you ramble on then your listener will either tune you out or will be unsure of exactly what you want. Think about what you want to say before you say it; this will help you to avoid talking excessively or confusing your audience.
Through a friendly tone, a personal question, or simply a smile, you will encourage your coworkers to engage in open and honest communication with you.
It’s important to be nice and polite in all your workplace communications. This is important in both face-to-face and written communication. When you can, personalize your emails to coworkers and/or employees or personalize a message and make the recipient feel more appreciated.
It is important to be confident in your interactions with others. Confidence shows your coworkers that you believe in what you’re saying and will follow through. Exuding confidence can be as simple as making eye contact or using a firm but friendly tone. Avoid making statements sound like questions. Of course, be careful not to sound arrogant or aggressive.
Even when you disagree with an employer, coworker, or employee, it is important for you to understand and respect their point of view. Using phrases as simple as “I understand where you are coming from” demonstrate that you have been listening to the other person and respect their opinions.
A good communicator should enter any conversation with a flexible, open mind. Be open to listening to and understanding the other person’s point of view, rather than simply getting your message across. By being willing to enter into a dialogue, even with people with whom you disagree, you will be able to have more honest, productive conversations.
People will be more open to communicating with you if you convey respect for them and their ideas. Simple actions like using a person’s name, making eye contact, and actively listening when a person speaks will make the person feel appreciated. On the phone, avoid distractions and stay focused on the conversation.
Being able to appropriately give and receive feedback is an important communication skill. Managers and supervisors should continuously look for ways to provide employees with constructive feedback, be it through email, phone calls, or weekly status updates. Giving feedback involves giving praise as well – something as simple as saying “good job” or “thanks for taking care of that” to an employee can greatly increase motivation.
10# Picking the Right Medium
An important communication skill is to simply know what form of communication to use. For example, some serious conversations (layoffs, changes in salary, etc.) are almost always best done in person.
You should also think about the person with whom you wish to speak – if they are very busy people (such as your boss, perhaps), you might want to convey your message through email. People will appreciate your thoughtful means of communication, and will be more likely to respond positively to you.
Verbal Communication Pointers
- Make your messages appropriate to the receiver.
- Use understandable language but not slang.
- Be aware of how long you speak. As a general rule, try to express your message in a limited amount of time (no more than 15 seconds in a normal day-to-day conversation) and then switch to listening.
- Focus on one topic at a time.
- Try to be positive, even when talking about negative situations.
Non Verbal Communications
Positive Non-Verbal Communications:
- Smiling – there is nothing like a smile and pleasant face to greet a customer, especially if he/she has a complaint.
- Eye contact – always look into your customer’s eyes. Directly address customers.
- How you look – personal grooming has a big impact on your customers. Let customers know you take seriously your position.
- Shaking hands – when shaking hands with a customer a firm and professional handshake is expected.
“Communication is really all anyone ever gets paid for ultimately…and if you cannot effectively communicate…you will PAY…not get paid.” – Doug Firebaugh
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