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6 Important Communication Skills

Being able to communicate effectively and be properly understood is one of the most essential life skill. With this skill, you are able to pass information to other people, and to understand what is said to you.

Good communication skill might look simple to achieve but the major dilemma is in the area of understanding. Most times, when these communications are established, there is a high probability for lack of understanding to occur. This breeds conflicts and can be frustrating which can affect our relationship with others.

With a strong communication skill, we can better connect with our friends, colleagues, bosses, etc while generally improving our workplace relationship.

Communication is the art of exchanging information through verbal or nonverbal cues. It could be through speaking, writing, graphical representations, signs or using some other medium.

Communication skills are a set of activities that ultimately make a quality public performance.

Communication involves 3 components:

  • A sender
  • A message
  • A receiver

Constantly improving your communication skill can help advance your business, career, etc and also make you standout. Developing this skill takes time and effort. But as they say “practice makes perfect”. The more time, effort and practice you put in, the better you get at it.

  • 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is the tone and inflection and 55% is body language (Smarp)

Communication Skills

1. Listening

Listening is the ability to accurately receive, understand and interpret an information conveyed to you by others. The ability to  listen attentively is very important to prevent misinterpretation.

It is a very important skill you can have. It plays a vital role in the result we produce at work and other sectors of life and in our relationship with those around us. It is part of the communication skill set that also includes speaking skills.

Research shows that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency. While most people agree that listening effectively is a very important skill, some people don’t feel a strong need to improve their own skill level.

Effective listening is a way of showing concern for subordinates, and it encourages strong bonds, commitment, and builds trust.

The ability to listen attentively decreases the risk of interpersonal conflict

2. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE:

This is an ability to understand and manage your emotions and also that of those around you. It helps relieve stress and tension. Those who are able to observe, monitor and control their emotions are highly emotionally intelligent.

Being able to control your emotions provides you with tools to understand others, yourself and be mindful of messages you send.

This is a very important skill that is required for success and for a good social interaction.

Here are 5 elements that Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence discovered:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skills.

The more you are able to manage your emotions, the better you become as a leader.

3. STRESS MANAGMENT

We all experience stress at work and it’s okay to feel stressed. However, when the stress becomes continuous, it begins to take a toll on our lives and relationships. It begins by affecting our communication, then our decision-making skills, our behaviors and finally our actions.

When you are under a lot of stress you may misunderstand other people’s messages and actions.

When you are stressed, you get irritated easily and most times, we say things we eventually regret due to lack or patience and inability to think rationally.

4. NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Words spoken make up just 7% of the message being passed across, while non-verbal communication are basically the most important component of communication.

Body language is very important in communication. It helps convey words. Other factors you should consider are things like the tone of your voice, hand gesture, posture, appearance, facial expression, eye contact, etc.

Eye contact is necessary during communication but do not stare at the person making them uncomfortable. Understand and notice other people’s non-verbal cues to understand how that person is feeling and carry them along.

5. EMPATHY

Empathy is the ability to understand and share in other’s feelings and thoughts to better respond to their situation.

You might not totally agree with the person’s opinion but you must respect their point of view. 

An analysis was done and data were collected from 6731 managers in 38 countries. It was discovered that empathy in work place positively affects performance. Managers who practice empathetic leadership toward direct reports are seen as better performers in their job by their bosses.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”

Anthony Robbins

6. GIVE AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK

Giving and receiving appropriate feedback is a great communication skill, particularly for those of us whose roles include managing other people.

Address both the positives and negatives but in a  pleasant, well structured, and uplifting manner rather than in an oppositional approach.

Giving constructive and detailed feedback is important. Also, setting a stage before giving feedback (eg: giving someone praise, or commending them on the part they did well) can build motivation and increase morale.

As much as we love to dish out feedbacks to others, it’s also important for us to encourage feedback from others. Always listen to feedback and act positively on it. Try to clarify incase you do not understand any aspect spoken about.

In conclusion, communication is part of our day-to-day activity. It is majorly what brings food on the table and helps us interact and keep in touch with people. Choosing the right communication approach will not only build you but also, it paves way for successes, promotions, etc.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”

Brian Tracy