The way to develop communication skills is a straightforward process. It helps you to express yourself and improve your both personal and professional relationships. Knowing how to communicate clearly and listen well will help you in job interviews, business meetings, and your personal affairs as well.
Learning how to communicate effectively by developing good communication skills has many benefits. However many people find it difficult to get ‘where to start’. This article is set up to educate you about the most important areas to improve that will help you to develop good communication skills.
What are Communication Skills
In simplest words, communication is transferring of information. Communications skills are skills of communicating with anyone.
Communication is a 2-way process, being able to convey your message and understand others’ message is called communication.
There is verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is done by words and what is been said. Non-verbal communication isn’t said, it is conveyed indirectly without the help of words.
Unfortunately, there is no one skill that contributes to communication skills. To develop good communication skills you will have to improve a set of skills. We will talk about those skills in just a while.
Why Communication Skills are Important
Effective communication skills are vital in and out of the workplace. Because it helps you to convey your intentions and feelings clearly in an understandable message. It helps you to understand others better.
When you apply for a job, one of the most important things employers notice is your communication skills. Having good communication skills will give you an edge over all the other applicants you are competing with. Even in business communication skills make your communication with your clients or employees very clear and effective which overall helps business a lot.
Communication skills make you productive by cutting the unwanted part of your messages and making them clear. Your ability to understand what is conveyed makes you sit better in a team and do great teamwork. Communication skills help you become an ideal leader.
4 Areas to Improve to Develop Communications Skills
If I generally divide communication skills, I get 4 main areas. These are the areas that put a strong foundation for your communication. People who have poor communication skills are mostly bad in these areas.
If you think you don’t have any communication skills, start focusing on these areas and you will develop solid communication skills. If you think you do have but not-so-great communication skills, start continuously focusing on these areas. I promise you will see improvement in your communication skills.
Listening is the most important part of communication. We all have a tendency to forget that communication is a 2-way process. We start broadcasting instead of communicating. Which is a big negative in communication.
It’s a great feeling when others listen to you. It’s the most unfulfilled need of humans. Effective communication starts with listening. An effective communicator tends to listen more than he speaks. Improving your listening skills helps and make better both personal and professional relationships.
We often tend to formulate what we are going to say next while the other person is speaking. Listening and hearing are different things, You don’t have to just pay attention to others’ words but you have to understand the message hidden in those words. If you get what the other person is trying to convey by his words. You become a good listener, communicator, and conversationist too. Listening is that important.
Good listeners use techniques of reflection and clarification to avoid any confusion in understanding the message of others.
When we talk about “communication”, we think it’s what we say or the message conveyed by our words. Interpersonal communication is much more than just the meaning of words. It also includes the hidden messages which we express by our non-verbal behavior sometimes intentional and sometimes not.
Most of the message is conveyed non-verbally, some sources say non-verbal is as much as 70-80% of communication.
Sometimes with non-verbal, we think about body language but it’s much more than that. Non-verbal communication includes, for example, facial expression, tone and pitch of voice, eye contact, posture, and even physiological changes like sweating.
You should give importance to non-verbal communication and even more when it is absent or reduced such as communicating over text or phone call.
You therefore can understand people better by understanding their non-verbal messages and convey your message much better with the help of non-verbal communication by ensuring your verbal and non-verbal are consistent with each other. This area is essential to develop good communication skills.
3. Emotional Awareness and Management
There is considerable evidence that emotional intelligence is far more important than ‘intellectual intelligence’ when it comes to success. The third overlooked area of communication skills is being aware of your and other people’s emotions and being able to manage those. This skill is called emotional intelligence.
At work, we fall into the trap of making everything logical by eliminating all emotions. Well, we are human beings, emotions are a big part of us and we can’t leave them somewhere or avoid them.
It doesn’t mean letting your emotions out anywhere and being emotional. Emotional intelligence is about being aware of the emotions you and others feel. It’s about noticing your emotions and not letting them control your actions, just being aware of them. You can achieve that with the practice of meditation.
Emotional intelligence covers a range of skills usually divided into personal skills and social skills. Personal skills can be further divided into self-awareness and self-regulation. Social skills include empathy. Each one of these is further divided into skills.
The principle behind all skills which are emotional skills are divided into is that you have to be aware of your emotions. Mastering your emotions and managing them means not getting controlled by your emotions. All that in order to communicate and understand others better.
It’s the fourth area where many people struggles. Questioning is a great skill that you can use to ask questions to clarify information or the message been conveyed to you. It’s a very good way to get more information about the topic and it can be used as a conversation starter very well.
To ask questions in a proper way, you have to consider these points.
- Think and get clear about what information you want to obtain or what you want to know.
- Determine the purpose of your question.
- Wait for the other to allow you to ask.
- Ask an open-ended question so it keeps the conversation going.
Those with good questioning skills are found to be good listeners too. Because they spend far more time drawing information in their brain from others rather than broadcasting themselves.
Being good in all those areas will make you good with communication skills. Learning is life long journey. No matter how good you are with communication with others, there is always a place to improve more in this skill.
Communication is more of a practicing skill. You will get better as you practice it. I advise you to find someone you found hard to communicate with and practice this skill while keeping the above areas in mind.
If you really want to be an expert of communication skills, I advise you to read this book, “How top Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes. If you don’t want to buy this book, you can listen to its audiobook for FREE in a free trial of Audible. Click the button below to continue.
It was your improvement dose for today. As I say always, keep growing, be disciplined, never give up, and just stay focused on the process of becoming the person you were born to be.
PS: What do you think else is more important in communication skills? Share your thoughts in the comment section.