Communication is an essential process of exchanging information. It has the power to influence people, bring people together and give positive messages as well as in contrast it can also set propaganda, create upheaval, or cause destruction. It is done verbally (using voice), non-verbally (body language, gestures, voice tones, signs), written (printed) or visually (digital media, pictures), etc. To make such communications effective, people need to develop skills so that message is sent and received well.
Effective communication is well formed communication that reaches the receiver as intended and desired whereas effective communication skills are the abilities to express yourself in different ways, anywhere and anytime. Effective communication enhances one’s personal, social and professional life, so effective communication is a must in today’s world. But everybody’s level of communication differ from one another. For effective communication one might need to learn a new skill like presentation skills, negotiation skills, leadership skills, etc for the ease and effectiveness of communication.
Better verbal skills help in starting new relationships and contacts which leads to success and better relationships in life. The ways in which you can improve your effective verbal skills are by asking questions, probing to get answers, including all people and making people comment. Similarly, it can also be done by paraphrasing or summarizing what you have to say. Planning, organizing what to say and making it simple works too. Words can be used creatively so that what you say is not monotonous.
Shying away from speaking and rather using some other form of communication makes communication worse. Speaking to people in general or public speaking can be taken as a skill because many cannot do it effectively without practice. Even well-known speakers like Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle make mistakes sometimes. It takes time to develop this skill, but is very necessary in today’s competitive world. You can use this skill anywhere and everywhere to make friends, influence colleagues, and encourage your blog audience or tell stories. Sometimes even babbling nonsense works as long as you are using words and speaking it out. You can even try rapping to improve how you speak.
Negotiation is done to compromise and reach to a agreement and settle differences. People bargain to get nearest to what they want in case of any disagreements. Successful negotiation happens when both parties come together to have an agreement that profits both. It creates a win-win situation. Negotiation skills are needed to communicate effectively as bad negotiation shows lack of communication and brings conflicts in relationships.
Interview and Questioning skills
Interview skills are the skills needed to succeed while being interviewed and how to be an effective interviewer which can be for jobs, information, recruitment, etc. Communication is effective during an interview if you can ask the right questions in proper way or impress the interviewer with what you communicate.
Similarly, questioning skills are another aspect of verbal skills in effective communication as how and what you question gets feedback that is necessary to have two-way communication. The reason for questioning might be various, but what we receive through it is what makes communication effective. So, this skill must also be developed to have effective communication.
Assertiveness as a skill is very important in communication specially relating to business and professional careers and it means to be able to persuade and influence others on your views or opinions without being aggressive. It is to stand up for a cause or for rights and freedom. Insisting that what you say is what others should be thinking or doing is needed in various points in life and must be developed as an effective verbal communication skill.
Presenting oneself in front of others is very fearful task for some while it is needed for many aspects of life and work like business, teaching, lecturing, giving an idea, etc. Developing presentation skills makes communication a lot better as it establishes a personality of individuals. Presenting well is judged to be a trait of an intelligent and influential person, so is one of the skills required for effective communication. If you are successful in providing meaning to what you are saying and getting desired feedback and results, your communication becomes effective.
Communication is more than use of words, but is about the meaning of the message conveyed. The meaning of message differs through inferred signals given by the individual in the form of gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice along with body language and other things. People not only hear what you are saying but also feel and see how you react and generate meaning from those. If verbal and non-verbal communication contrasts or differs, listeners will take the message differently than intended. Therefore, nonverbal skills are just as important as verbal skills and should be developed with practice.
Personal skills are the skills that are different from one individual to another. Personal and intrapersonal skills are needed to survive in today’s world which is very social. These skills create a personality that is seen by all and sets personal goals and show what the person is good at. It is the character and virtue of a person. It is how you react in different situations and handle them. Some personal development skills are time-management, control emotions, confidence, accountability, dedication, empathy, encouragement, practicality, etc. These skills help in effective communication as people believe in people who they think are bright, leading and persuasive.
Leadership skill is one of the personal skills that helps in effective communication. Leaders are confident, motivational and can inspire vision of future among people.
“Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.”
– Professor Warren G. Bennis
Leaders can deliver and communicate vision of future in a way that people believe and will work for it. Leadership encourages effective communication vice versa.
Interpersonal communication is a skill to build relationships and create new ones by interacting with people. People who are comfortable talking with other people have better communication as well as relationships. Team work mostly requires interpersonal skills. Those are the tools used to interact which creates an impact and can be taken as effective communication.
Stress and anger management skills
Anger management is very important skill for effective communication as you should not communicate while you are angry. You might say things when you are angry which you might regret later. Similarly, stresses is common as people due to their daily busy schedule. Managing it is difficult at times and communication done while you are in stress successful most of the time too. So, anger and stress management skills are required to have effective communication.
On an average a normal human spend 45 % of their communication time listening and the rest in speaking, reading and writing. Active listening is a part of effective communication. Hearing and listening has a difference, and only hearing can make communication ineffective. Listening is the ability to receive information and interpret it accurately. Messages are misunderstood and function of communication is lost when there is lack of listening. Listening encourages healthy relationships and solving problems.
Good and effective writing skills allow effective communication of message sent as intended. If what you write is clear and easy to read, people will continue reading it and the purpose of writing will be fulfilled. If people read and believe in what you write, you will be successful to make an influence. Writing might be a personal letter or professional report, any writing sends messages. Effective writing skills enhances effective communication.
Here, we can find that the above mentioned skills are a must for effective communication. There are many other skills which also play a role in effective communication like persuasive skills, learning skills, self-assessment and researching skills as well.