Top Ways to Master Communication Skills
- Jun 20, 2014
Communication is probably one of the most important things that we need to survive. We interact with others through the medium of communication. It involves any interaction we have, whether verbal, physical or through other more advanced means of technology. Thus, communication keeps us connected to others in our community and the wider world.In both our personal and professional relationships, communication plays multiple roles. It can create conflicts. However, it helps to solve them as well. Whenever you need to explain your view to someone, you need to communicate. Effective communication helps to reduce the chance of conflicts and ensures that we build relationships based on trust and mutual respect. The virtues of affection, caring, problem solving and creative ideas can exist only in an environment where effective communication exists. Most of the conflicts and frustration that we see in our professional and personal lives is due to poor communication. A person who has mastered the art of communicating effectively can build better relationships with their friends, relatives, children, spouse and colleagues. In case conflicts arise, effective communication skills can again be used to resolve such issues.Some people have a fear that they are not effective communicators and will never be one. However, this thinking is erroneous. Anyone can learn to communicate effectively. A spontaneous communicator is usually more effective compared to someone who has to practice very hard to acquire the same skills. For example, when someone delivers a speech spontaneously, it has more impact compared to someone who reads the same speech from a piece of paper. Anyone can become a more effective communicator simply by putting in more effort and time. The principal skills one needs to acquire to communicate effectively with others are enumerated below:
- Listening Carefully: This is the first and the most important skill required for effective communication. To communicate effectively with others, one needs to first be able to listen to what others are trying to communicate. One should not just listen to the words being spoken, but also try to comprehend the speaker’s feeling about what they’re communicating.
- Keep Your Entire Focus on the Person who is Speaking: While listening, listen to the speaker as well as concentrate on his expressions, tone of voice, gestures and so on. Do not daydream, doodle, text message or be inattentive while listening to the lecture.
- Express Your Interest to the Speaker: Nothing can be more disappointing to a speaker than communicating to an uninterested audience. Hence, whether you are listening to a speech or talking to someone else, express your interest proper. It will also encourage the speaker to deliver the speech in a more effective manner.
- Do not Seem Judgmental: We need not agree with everything said by the speaker, but it is important to listen without seeming judgmental or critical.
- Express Your Point of View After the Speaker has Finished: Do not interrupt while the speaker is still expressing his or her viewpoint. Listen carefully to the speaker’s words before putting forward your own point of view.
There are multiple benefits of being a good listener. In fact, it helps being a good speaker. Some of the benefits include:
- The speaker will feel understood and respected. This will strengthen the bond between the speaker and you.
- Let the speaker feel that their opinions are being heard properly. As the speaker feels that they are being given the opportunity to make their opinions heard, it helps to build an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
- Create an environment where it is perfectly all right to disagree with someone else’s opinion, yet it is safe to express different ideas and opinions. Remember that disagreeing with someone’s opinion does not mean that you disrespect that person.
- Take Ownership of Your Opinions: When you make a mistake or an error in judgment, admitting it requires strength. Effective communication also means that we admit when we made a mistake. This will also inspire others to admit their mistakes and take responsibility for their own errors.
- Learn to Compromise: Sometimes our attention becomes so focused to win that we hardly remain attentive to those near us. This can lead us to hurt others in the process. It is important to keep everyone’s interests and point of view in mind. If necessary, we need to compromise to keep others happy.
Image Courtesy: www.attractioninstitute.org
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