Communication Skills

By Audrey Marlene

We as humans are blessed with the ability to communicate through speaking, writing, listening, or body language. This ability is extremely compelling - it can propel us to far-reaching places or ruin our chances for success. It's a skill that must be perfected as we strive to achieve success in every aspect of our lives.

The ability to communicate is not innate or something we are born with. It is a skill that we learn and cultivate each day of our lives. It is a skill we perfect as we make a conscious effort to improve it. If no effort is made to develop communication skills it can be a detriment to your personal relationships, social relationships and your business relationships. The art of effective communication is necessary for success in every area of life.

Each moment of our lives our communication skills are put into practice with our partners, children, parents, coworkers, bosses, clients, professors, friends, business prospects etc. Each of these encounters require tactful communication skills in order to maintain relationships and make advances. When these opportunities present themselves, they can be used to enhance or sabotage your cause. It's a choice we make each day to communicate effectively.

We often take this ability for granted. We also take for granted the importance of our words, body language, eye contact, or how to listen. These components are essential in learning the art of communicating. It is when we pay careful attention to these elements that we can become masters in communication skills.

The ability to communicate sends a message about who we are. Think about how you would like to be perceived and plan your delivery. Develop your style and allow it to become a part of you so your delivery can be seen as genuine and not something that is just a put on. Genuine communication skills will get you everywhere. Others can see it in your eyes, your smile, your spoken word, your body language, and how attentive you are. The first lesson in communication skills is to listen to what others are saying in order to make an appropriate response or to follow along with the flow of the conversation. Many failures in communication occur when we dominate the conversation, allowing the focus to be on us and refusing to listen to what the other person is trying to communicate back to us.

Have you ever noticed when in conversation and someone tells a story about him/herself that you feel the need to tell a story about yourself to top the story told by that person? This happens quite often in communicating where the ego takes over, demanding attention and saying to self "I am special and I have a better story than yours". When this happens, communication is severed and the message is lost.

Our egos can get in the way of our ability to communicate effectively. Our egos have a high need for attention and want to be heard, to feel significant, respected and seen as an authority even at the expense of losing the interest of the person we are communicating with. We have a tendency to dominate conversations and keep the focus on us. These forms of communication skills are a sure way to drive others away and undermine your efforts for achieving success.

Examine your communication skills. Do you notice that you have a tendency to bring the conversation back to you? If so, make it a point to be more mindful of your ego’s role in communicating and watch the advances you make by just listening. This kind of communicating allows you to be more present in the conversation and not competing for time to tell you story.

When you can develop your communication skills to be present in the conversation, you can win more friends and influence more people. Because you paid genuine attention to what someone else had to say and removed the ego, you are more able to earn the respect of others who will want to hear your message. In developing communication skills, first understand the person you are communicating with and what they are trying to say to you. If the focus is about trying getting others to understand you first, it may take you a much longer time to achieve your desired goals.

If this important rule is practiced in all our communication skills we can achieve more success in our exchanges. In order to understand what others are saying we have to be interested in what they are saying. Try to get into the mindset of the person speaking. If you already know certain information about that person, take into account that information and their frame of mind and be clued in to their perspective. Make sure you body language and eye contact, reflect genuine interest. Let others see an authentic attentiveness in what they have to say so when it's your turn to communicate you are better received and a greater impact is made.

In developing these skills at this level, it becomes a win win situation. The people you are listening to will feel good about having someone pay genuine concern for what they have to say and you get to communicate your point of view back to them with welcome. Relationships will have a greater tendency to flourish from this simple concept.

Use this information to check in with yourself. Are you understanding of what others have to say first or do you want others to understand you first? Examine your communication style. Is there room for improvement? Make it a point to focus on the art of communicating so the next time you have the opportunity do so (which is all the time), you can put your best self forward.

Let's take a look at how we can improve our communication skills.

  • Make a good impression. Your ability to communicate can tell a lot about you. It can turn others off or draw them in.

  • Think about what it is you are trying to communicate. Make a plan in your mind of how you are going to convey your message and be as clear as possible so the other person has no doubts about what you are trying to say.

  • Remove self and be attentive to what is being said before jumping to conclusions. If you assume what the other person is trying to say and you are wrong you will lose credibility. If you are unsure say so. Give the other person time to clarify themselves.

  • Be aware of your body language. Make eye contact.

  • Use appropriate tone of voice and expression.

  • Communicate honestly. Others can sense genuine conversation or if there is an ulterior motive.

  • Be understanding and patient. Each person has a different style and personality. Be empathetic.

    Use this information to bring more awareness to the way you communicate. Get honest feedback form the people in your life as to how you communicate with them. Develop your communication skills each day to achieve an expressive, effective style of communication.

    Quotes On Communication Skills

  • "The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives" - Anthony Robbins

  • "In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do." - Stephen R. Covey

  • "Communication works for those who work at it." - John Powell

  • "All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait for attention and then you low words will be charged with dynamite." - Elbert Hubbard

  • "Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much." - Robert Greeleaf

  • "If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his point of view - as well as your own." - Henry Ford

  • "Communication is the real work of leadership."- Nitin Nohria

  • "Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness." – Margaret Miller

  • "To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others." - Anthony Robbins

  • "Communication is not only the essence of being human, but also a vital property of life." - John A. Piece

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