Good communication skills are fundamental to a great career and life. How you communicate your thoughts and feelings to others and how you manage your differences are predictors of the quality of your relationships at home or at the office. When individuals don’t speak clearly, don’t listen accurately or don’t assert themselves effectively, the result is reduced profit, diminished self-esteem and lowered company morale. Recruiters base their selection decisions directly on the effectiveness of your communication skills and indirectly on a lot of other skills which you could express due to your communication ability.

People need to be able to call upon a sophisticated set of interpersonal skills to reach their communication goals and to help others reach theirs. Practical communication skills complement teamwork, interdependence and shared responsibility, which are the benchmarks of successful business and corporations today.

The purpose of communication is to share information. What you say is only as effective and informative as how it’s heard. Listening ranks as the most valuable communication skill. It takes the form of reading, writing and speaking, listening is at the very heart of good communication. We assume listening comes naturally when, in fact, it is a learned activity. Reflective listening improves your listening skills. Reflective listening helps you focus on the central points of the speaker’s message and helps the speaker stay on the topic. It also allows the speaker to vent emotions so he or she can move toward a solution.

Listening is an art that involves your whole body. Physical listening shows how to assume a posture and attitude of silent responsiveness. A lifetime of poor communication habits, while difficult to undo, can be improved with work and practice. The goal is to be on good terms with all people and, at the same time, maintain your own dignity and self-worth. How you and your employees present yourselves to others gives them an image of your company.

Assertiveness is another valuable communication skill. There is a four-part assertiveness communication formula that describes effective assertion messages. You don’t need a college education or a big vocabulary to communicate assertively. Often, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Nonverbal communication considers such key components as eye contact, body posture, facial expression, gestures, vocal tone, inflection and volume as well as fluency, timing and clothing. All make positive or negative statements about you and affect the way you are perceived by the recruiters and later your clients.

To improve your communication skills, you will have to become more comfortable and observant during conversations.

  • Self Disclosure – While talking to people, do not hesitate in sharing whatever comes to your mind. Your “Self-Disclosure” has to increase.  Increase in Self-Disclosure does not mean that you blurt out your social media passwords and your personal inclinations to perfect strangers but it definitely means that you lower the bar when you talk to people, share the small-talk that creeps in your head. This means that small talk such as the condition of weather, what you liked or disliked, etc are not to be taken for granted that everyone knows this so why speak it. Just speak it out. When you express yourself then people get a better idea about you and they can interact with you better.
  • Openness to Feedback – You need to change your way of communication based upon inputs from others. Based on feedback given by others you may have to elaborate, stop talking, be more cogent, or assertive.
  • Perception – This the balance between how much of self-disclosure is acceptable for a particular person or how open to feedback we need to be.

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