What is Communication Skill?
Communication involves at least two people: the sender and the receiver. In this article, we’ll look at four types of communication between senders and receivers: writing, speaking, listening, and conducting meetings. Each one is important to your success in the workplace. Communication is the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information. A communication skill that’s often overlooked is listening. Yet recent surveys tell us that we spend 45 percent of our time listening. Do we listen carefully to what people are telling us? According to one study, we hear only one quarter of what’s being said.
The rest of the time we’re daydreaming or just tuned out completely. Thus, in most situations, listening makes the complete communication. A recent research points out that writing is 9%, reading is 16%, talking is 30% and listening is 45% of the communication process. And Listening, writing, and speaking are all skills we use in meetings. Whether you’re writing, listening, speaking, or attending meetings, communication skills are critical to your success in the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at some of the skills that will enable your communications to be more successful. These include: Understanding the purpose of a communication, Analyzing the audience Communicating with words as well as with body language and Giving each communication greater impact.
Communicating through Writing
To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man. Or, think as wise men do, but speak as common people do. —Aristotle
You must have a clear purpose and state that purpose as quickly as possible. If you cannot express in a sentence or two what you intend to get across, then it is not focused well enough. That’s why an estimated 85 percent of our success in business is determined by our communication skills. In written communication, it is very important to understand your reader. Do remember that all communication is written for your reader. Do analyze your readers before you begin writing and don’t leave out any important information the reader needs to know. The reader’s attitude is also very important and don’t forget that the reader’s attitudes will influence how they respond to your writing. Sense of purpose is the ultimate goal in written communication, so do make your writing appeal to what the reader cares most about.
The Four Seas (Cs) of Writing
All good writing starts by defining your purpose and knowing your reader. But that’s only the beginning. There are four other elements that you should keep
in mind. They are known as the 4 Cs:
– Be concise and don’t use lengthy unnecessary details.
– Use arguments to support your point and invoke readers’ emotions.
– Be clear and don’t write ambiguous words or sentences. Short sentences and paragraphs are very important for clarity.
– If your writing has grammatical or spelling mistakes, the reader will not consider you’re a serious person to deal with.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF GOOD WRITING
According to experts, people often confuse communication with persuasion.
Communication is the transmission of messages among people or groups; persuasion is a person or group’s deliberate attempt to make another person or group adopt a certain idea, belief, or action. Expressing differences is a vital part of workplace communication, as long as you avoid an accusatory tone when doing so. For example, “If you’re having a challenging encounter with the boss, ask yourself, ‘What does my boss want? What might he/she be terrified about?’. Follow the following principles in good writing:
1. I realize that all good writing must have a clear purpose.
2. I recognize that less is more—too many words can bore my reader.
3. I understand that the most important information belongs at the beginning of my document.
4. I avoid all mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
5. I think about what my readers want before beginning to write.
6. I make an impact on my readers by making my writing powerful.
7. I don’t use complex words when I can use simple ones.
8. I leave out all information that does not relate to my main purpose.
9. I use descriptive words to bring my writing to life.
10. I never assume that my readers know more than they do.
Communicating through Speaking
Public speaking is a very important workplace skill. You may often be required to present information and your ideas to your managers and coworkers. Those who can write very conveniently will fear speaking most severely. In a recent research, among Americans’ top fears, speaking comes first.
1. Public speaking
4. Financial trouble
5. Deep water
Stage Fright and Public Speaking
You know that stage fright is setting in if you have: Dry mouth, Sweaty or cold hands, Rapid pulse, Tight throat, Nervous or upset stomach, Shaky lips, knees, or hands. Despite all these things you must stand before the audience and speak. Fear is what stops you from going ahead. Fear requires a lot of energy. Instead of letting the fear undermine your talk, channel this energy in other directions. For example, using gestures to reinforce the main points of your talk can make it more dynamic. Communications consultant Richard Southern advises that you “get your body involved in what you’re saying.” This will add power to your presentation and keep your audience involved from beginning to end.
Try to think of stage fright in a positive way. Fear is your friend. It makes your reflexes sharper. It heightens your energy, adds a sparkle to your eye, and color to your cheeks. When you are nervous about speaking you are more conscious of your posture and breathing. With all those good side effects you will actually look healthier and more attractive.
—Tom Antion, author of the article “Learn
How to Be a Professional Speaker”
The Eight Secrets of Successful Speaking
Although it is risky, humor is an effective tool if you can perfect it. Humor does
many things: relaxes the audience, makes your speech more enjoyable, negates any hostility that may be present, overcomes introductions that may be overly flattering, lets the audience know that you don’t take yourself too seriously and lightens up a dry subject. But overall lesson is that the best talks should be concise as well as compelling.
- Define the purpose of your presentation before doing anything else.
- Spend plenty of time preparing your talk so it will be effective.
- Hook the attention of your listeners early in a speech so they will listen to the rest of it.
- Tell the audience why you’re speaking to them at the beginning, the middle, and the end of your talk.
- Overcome stage fright by making it work for you.
- Use stories and anecdotes to bring your talk to life.
- Evaluate each talk you give so you can constantly improve your skills.
- Never stop practicing.
Then rehearse it several times. This will enable you to become comfortable with the talk and improve your delivery. Preparation and practice will make you a better speaker. Creating a successful speech takes time. It involves developing a clear purpose, analyzing your audience, creating a structure for your talk, and bringing it to life with interesting information. Once you have prepared the talk, put the key points on a few note cards.
Communication Skills and Job
On the job interview, you need to show the interviewer that you maintain a professional demeanor. This means dressing appropriately so that your appearance works for you, rather than distracts the interviewer. Don’t be too casual. Always wear a business suit. Black, navy, or dark gray are usually recommended. Women’s skirts should be no shorter than knee length. Be neat and clean. Make sure that your suit is clean and wrinkle-free. Be conservative. Women should wear closed-toe shoes and nylons with a skirt. All interviewees should leave tight-fitting or revealing clothes at home. Be well groomed. Be clean-shaven and have neat hair. Avoid drastic or wild hairstyles. Don’t wear excess makeup or multiple rings or earrings. Other facial piercing are probably not a good idea.
So remember that Communication is not only verbal. It also involves body language. Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help in any business situation. There are always good questions that you must ask yourself for the interview.
- Figure out in advance what you don’t know and what you need to know.
- Find out from a friend or coworker who is most likely to have the answers you need.
- Make an appointment to see that person, especially if he or she is a busy supervisor.
- State each question as clearly and simply as possible.
- Don’t become flustered if the individual asks for clarification—put your question in different words and ask it again.
- If at first you don’t understand the answer, don’t be afraid to ask for more information.
- Thank the individual for taking time to answer your questions.
Effective communication is important not only with other people inside your organization but with people from the outside as well. A ready smile, direct eye contact, and a firm handshake are communication skills that will win you high marks whenever you deal with customers.
Listening and Business Meetings
For a team to work smoothly, its members must be able to communicate effectively. They must speak clearly and concisely so everyone understands what
they are saying. They must also be willing to listen and learn from each other—this is the point of meetings. If workers are not cooperating as a team, nothing
can be accomplished. Here are five things to avoid when meeting as a team:
- Don’t interrupt.
- Don’t jump to conclusions.
- Don’t judge the messenger.
- Don’t be self-centered.
- Don’t tune out.
Good listening skills will make you a better employee. Age can be an enormous barrier to effective communication. Good listeners have the ability to empathize with a speaker. Whether you’re leading a meeting or are just a participating in one, you need to communicate clearly. The most critical element of any meeting agenda is the objective, which addresses the purpose of the meeting. Speaking with energy can keep people involved and prevent them from daydreaming or even falling asleep! Nothing builds rapport faster than eye contact. Building rapport is critical for achieving audience buy-in—and without 100 percent buy-in, it’s terribly difficult to inspire an audience to act. Always Find something positive to say about another employee’s proposal, even if you disagree with it.
My final advice for meetings is that People who disagree have an argument, but people who dissent have a quarrel. . . . Disagreement is the lifeblood of democracy, dissension is its cancer.