Communication skills can be defined as the ability to communicate effectively, it can be defined as the ability to communicate effectively, it can be defined as the ability to communicate effectively, and it can be defined as the ability to communicate effectively.
What are Communication Skills?
An individual or group of people can communicate by sending and receiving information or messages.
Different types of information can be shared and received through communication skills. The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important interpersonal skills.
What are the signs of poor communication skills?
If you possess any of the following qualities, your communication skills need to be improved:
- Interrupting while the other person is talking
- Poor listening skills
- Talking too much
- Lack of eye contact
- Asking questions at an inappropriate time
- Not asking relevant questions
- Excess use of verbal fillers
- Too much focus on the speaker instead of the message
- Making assumptions
- Not paying attention to non-verbal cues
- Lack of confidence while speaking
- Thinking about what to say when someone is talking to you.
- Speaking without thinking
- Sending mixed messages – when non-verbal cues don’t match the message (spoken) conveyed
- Not clear and concise.
Communication skills are poor if you notice any of these signs when communicating with others. You can develop and improve effective communication skills just like other skills.
What are the 7 C’s of Effective Communication?
A well-constructed message or information is ensured by following the 7 C’s of communication.
Below are the 7 C’s of Communication:
Use simple words to make your message clear and easy to understand. The recipient must be able to identify the message’s purpose easily.
Conciseness is essential, i.e. keep your message short and simple. Make your messages as short as possible and avoid long sentences.
Messages must be accurate and error-free. No grammatical or spelling errors should be present.
It is important to include all the information the receiver needs in the message. Don’t include irrelevant information.
Messages must be courteous, displaying the sender’s respect for the receiver. Messages that are courteous are not biased in any way.
It is essential that the message be concrete, i.e. specific and based on solid facts from credible sources. A concrete message is specific, clear, and backed by specific facts and figures.
In addition to considering your audience’s level of knowledge, background, mindset, etc., your message must also be considerate.
Types of Communication Skills
Communication skills can be divided into five types:
1. Verbal Communication Skills
In verbal communication, messages are conveyed through spoken words. Although written words may also be used in verbal communication.
The ability to receive and deliver messages verbally is called verbal communication skills.
Below are some examples of good verbal communication skills:
- Active listening
- Pronouncing your words correctly
- Giving feedback when appropriate
- Using appropriate language, volume, and tone
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues
- Using normal speaking rate; not too fast and not too slow
- Listening to others without interrupting
- Speaking with confidence.
Examples of Verbal communication include:
- Press conferences
- Public speeches
- Phone calls
- Dialogue in films, TV shows e.t.c.
- Board meetings.
2. Nonverbal Communication Skills
Nonverbal communication involves nonverbal cues such as eye contact, gestures, distance, personal appearance, time, etc.
Communicating non-verbally involves decoding and encoding non-verbal signals.
By encoding, we mean conveying messages in a way that receivers can understand.
It is the ability to interpret encoded messages accurately that is referred to as decoding.
Below are some examples of non-verbal communication:
- Folding your arms
- Clothes e.t.c
3. Written Communication Skills
In written communication, messages are conveyed through written words. In professional settings, it is the most common method of communication.
The ability to communicate effectively using written words is called written communication skills.
Effective written communication requires the following skills:
- Appropriate use of punctuations
- Construction of correct sentences
- Knowledge of basic grammar rules
- Appropriate use of language and tone
- Usage of certain editing tools or software.
Examples of written communication include:
- Blog post
- Instant messages
- Instructional materials e.g. Ebooks
- Press release e.t.c.
4. Visual Communication Skills
In visual communication, messages are conveyed using visual elements. Presentations, website content, advertisements, social media posts, etc., often use this method of communication.
The ability to convey messages visually is known as visual communication skills. The ability to interpret the meaning of messages received by the eyes is also part of it.
Examples of Visual communication include:
- Slide deck
- Process diagrams
- Mind maps
- Road maps
- GIFs e.t.c.
5. Listening Communication Skills
There is a difference between listening and hearing. Perceiving sound is the act of hearing, while listening is the act of understanding the sounds (messages).
People with excellent listening skills possess the following qualities:
- Listening without interruptions
- Maintain eye contact and don’t state
- No judgments
- Support the speaker with affirmative words
- Avoid distractions
- Aware of non-verbal cues.
Benefits of Effective Communication Skills
In both our personal and professional lives, effective communication skills are essential. Effective communication skills have the following benefits:
1. It creates better relationships
When we communicate effectively, we prevent misunderstandings and conflicts, which fosters good relationships on both a personal and professional level.
Listening actively can improve relationships by making people feel heard and respected.
2. It improves productivity
It is more likely that you will be productive when you understand a piece of information or instruction clearly. It is possible to perform more efficiently if you understand instructions clearly.
Active listening during lectures, for example, will improve students’ exam performance.
3. Provides clarity
A good communicator can convey messages clearly and concisely.
Additionally, when information is communicated effectively, the recipient will quickly comprehend its meaning.
4. Prevents and resolves conflicts
Conflicts are most often caused by poor communication. Communication plays a significant role in conflict resolution.
Communication that is effective reduces the risk of misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and conflict.
5. It improves teamwork
Teamwork projects require effective communication. Team members will be able to communicate ideas effectively if they are able to communicate effectively.
6. Increase the chances of getting a new job
In addition to high GPAs, employers prefer candidates with good communication skills.
You can also use good writing skills to create proposals or cover letters that can help you land a new job.
Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
From a personal to a professional standpoint, good communication skills are essential.
The tips mentioned below can help improve your communication skills.
1. Consider your audience
If the receiver does not understand the messages conveyed, there is no communication. Keep your audience in mind at all times.
Your message should be easy to understand and should take into account their needs, expectations, and knowledge level.
2. Be prepared
Make sure you understand the topic or issue you will be discussing before making a speech or presentation.
Prepare some ideas, practice delivering the messages, and research the topic.
3. Be clear and concise
Your messages must be clear and concise, so that your audience can easily comprehend them.
Communicate clearly, stick to the point, and avoid unnecessary details.
4. Practice active listening
Listening actively is the key to being a good communicator. Every form of communication requires active listening skills.
While the speaker is still talking, you should pay full attention and avoid distractions.
5. Pay attention to non-verbal cues
Non-verbal communication makes up 55% of all communication. Many messages can be conveyed through nonverbal cues such as eye contact, gestures, body postures, distance, etc.
During conversations, you should maintain appropriate body postures and avoid using negative body language such as crossed arms and hunched shoulders.
6. Pronounce your words correctly
Make sure your pronunciation is correct and don’t speak too quickly. Use a word only if you know how to pronounce it.
Don’t use a word if you don’t know its meaning. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, look it up in a dictionary.
To improve your vocabulary, you should also make reading a habit. Improved vocabulary is one of the many benefits of reading regularly.
7. Be confident
Don’t be afraid to say what you think, so far it has been relevant and meaningful. Engage in any conversation without being shy or afraid to contribute.
Make sure you talk confidently during presentations and public speeches, avoid looking down, and maintain eye contact with your audience. Unless you deliver your message confidently, your audience may doubt the credibility of your message.
8. Ask questions
Ask clarifying questions instead of assuming you understand a message.
When mixed messages are sent, you can ask questions to clarify. You should ask questions when the speaker has finished talking.
9. Avoid the use of jargon
Don’t use complex words or jargon to impress. The term jargon refers to special words used by experts in a particular discipline.
When communicating with someone who isn’t in the same field as you, avoid using jargon. Misunderstandings can occur when jargon is used.
It takes a lot of practice to develop effective communication skills. Implement the above tips in your daily conversations to practice.
To learn more tips, you can also watch videos of communication experts.