Acquiring Good Communication Skills

Communication skills are very necessary for individual, workers, family members, the community at large, in essence, good communication skills are needed by everybody. Communication is beyond disbursing information, it has to do with successfully passing a message without misunderstanding or causing confusion. There might have been times when you thought you passed a very clear information, only to find out that you have been grossly misunderstood? I know it can be frustrating at times, it might even disrupt a lot of things at work, but good communication skills will definitely reduce that. You are responsible for what you say, not what others understand it to be. What you say as well as how you say it is extremely important.

Seven (7) Important Communication Skills

1. Listen: You need to be a good and attentive listener in order for communication to take place. Listen with empathy, this will enable you understand better and reply appropriately. Listen with total concentration and don't jump into conclusion or judge. Don't interrupt the speaker, you can give little interjections or nod to nudge the person on and show you're following. Indicate interest in what the speaker is saying with your actions. You can briefly summarise and ask questions to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. For example, you can say: 'You mean that or you're saying that.....right? That way the speaker will be able to correct you or confirm what you think.' You can only reply appropriately when you hear correctly.

2. Speak: This is the main constituent. Make sure your words are clear, simple, precise and unambiguous. You can add description and illustrations for clarity. Concision is essential as well. Let your body language be in consonance with your speech. Appear confident and be sure of your facts. Talk with people and make new friends and contacts, some of them might end up becoming clients or business partners. Speak open-mindedly and respectfully to all.

3. Non-verbal Communication: Your gestures are as important as your words. They can pass the wrong information or disprove your words. Good gestures include: maintaining eye contact while speak, speaking boldly, not operating your phone or system, not fidgeting, playing with your hands/fingers or shaking your feet continuously; eye rolling and continuous yawning isn't good as well. Send good signals, laugh when necessary, don't overdo it, make sure you don't appear tense. Be relaxed and totally attentive to the speaker.

4. Medium: See to it that the communication takes place through the right medium. Some things should be communicated one-on-one, board meetings, others through emails, text, calls or through a third party. A very important message is better communicated personally than through a text or third party. The urgency of the matter is a really important determinant in deciding the medium to be used. Medium shows how important and official your message is as well.

5. Attitude: Have a friendly and professional attitude. Be firm and polite; be nice and approachable. Always appreciate other people's efforts and contributions, it will definitely encourage and motivate them to do more some other time. Another good tip will be complimenting your colleagues sincerely; everyone likes to hear something nice truthfully said about them or to them.

6. Respect and Feedback: Respect is reciprocal; learn to respect your colleagues and those around you, including your subordinates and your superiors. Everyone is important for the growth of the organisation. You won't like to listen or talk to me if you feel I'm disrespectful, right? Feedback is as important as the initial message, it keeps everyone engaged and connected while communication won't be severed.

7. Self Control: Self Control is extremely essential in communicating properly. Stress management can easily lead to misunderstanding. Emotional upheaval can as well debar communication seriously. Learn to manage stress and control emotions effectively because they might make you disoriented and disorderly/disorganised, you might end up using the wrong terms and passing the information as well. They might make you appear cranky, rude, unprofessional and unapproachable if you don't put them under control. I recently did an article on stress management, you can refer to it.

Good communication skills help relationships grow, paves way for better understanding of people and situations, and establishes lasting connections. It also brings about efficiency and better team work; quickens decision making, motivates and brings about positive change. Work on your communication skills and get wonderful results. Thank you for reading.


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