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What Are Communication Skills? Types And Importance Of Communication Skills

Importance Of Communication Skills

What Are Communication Skills?

Just saying something is not enough. Unless what you have said has made an impact, there has been no successful communication. Communication happens both ways. Therefore, the ability to successfully convey a message that results in understanding an action is known as communication skills.

Excellent communication skills are important and will take you far in life. From your professional ambitions to your personal goals, communication skills play an important role in each. Therefore, its importance cannot be stressed enough. However, many people struggle with communication. There could be many reasons behind it. But one need not worry as communication skills can be worked upon.

In the following blog, you will find all that you need to know about communication skills and their importance. You will also learn how to improve your communication skills and use them to improve your personal and professional life.


Types Of Communication Skills

There are different types of communication skills, but they can best be classified under four categories – verbal, non-verbal, visual, and written. Though there is a debate that visual and written communication are the same, their understanding stimulates different parts of the brain. So, they can be categorized as separate.

Reading and understanding these various forms of communication is the first step towards becoming an excellent communicator. Therefore, take this knowledge, and dwell on it, and only then can you move towards your goal of having excellent communication skills.


Here are four main types of communication skills, you should know:


1. Verbal Communication Skills –

Verbal communication is the most prevalent form of interaction, encompassing face-to-face conversations, phone calls, group presentations, and video conferences. It involves using a common language that is understood by the individuals you’re communicating with to establish a channel for interactive dialogue. While many people are proficient in verbal communication in their personal lives, they often encounter challenges in their professional careers, with public speaking being a common hurdle. Nevertheless, with practice, one can enhance their overall verbal communication skills.


2. Non-Verbal Communication Skills –

Recent studies suggest that approximately 55% to 60% of communication is non-verbal. People now place as much, if not more, emphasis on your body language and non-verbal cues. Non-verbal communication includes body language, gestures, facial expressions, nods, and other physical movements. In both personal and professional contexts, non-verbal communication is increasingly emphasized, as it is regarded as a sincere form of expression that is difficult to fake. Consequently, strong non-verbal communication skills can significantly impact your personal and professional life.


3. Visual Communication Skills –

Visual communication encompasses any method of conveying a message through visual stimuli, such as images, maps, drawings, charts, graphs, designs, colours, and more, with minimal reliance on words and numbers. In today’s world, visual communication skills are highly valued as an intelligent means of conveying information. Developing proficiency in visual communication may require considerable effort and practice, but the benefits make it a valuable skill to possess.


4. Written Communication Skills –

Written communication involves the use of written language or numerical symbols to convey messages. With the rise of technology, written communication has become increasingly prevalent. The younger generation often prefers text-based communication over verbal interaction, particularly in non-face-to-face situations. Activities such as texting, commenting, reviewing, and emailing now fall under the umbrella of written communication. It has evolved beyond traditional forms like books, notes, letters, notices, and memos. The advantage of written communication skills is that they can be learned and mastered.


Importance of Communication Skills

As mentioned before, communication skills play a huge role in all aspects of life. Though the type of communication may change along with the phase of life, the importance does not diminish. Therefore, here’s some information that highlights the importance of communication, and how it changes in context to the situation, profession, and context.


1. Importance of Communication Skills in Life

Good communication skills in life will ensure everyone around you understands you and you understand them. You will be confident and assertive. There will be less misunderstanding and you will rarely have to face issues that come with poor communication.

  • It will be easy for you to make and keep friends.
  • You will have a good relationship with your spouse, kids, family members, and friends.
  • Your daily functioning will be at its optimal best.
  • Your daily chores and errands will also happen at their optimal best.
  • You will have less stress because poor communication also leads to a lot of mental stress.


2. Importance of Communication Skills for Students:

One of the biggest reasons why many students suffer is because of poor communication skills. It affects their functioning in schools and colleges and also affects their ability to understand what the teacher is teaching. Hence, as a student, you need to develop your communication skills because:

  • It will help you communicate with teachers about things you have a tough time understanding.
  • It will help you build relationships with your fellow students.
  • Your grades will improve as these skills help with studying and revision.
  • You will be able to study subjects you like by convincing your parents to let you study for the career you want.
  • You will have much less mental stress compared to other students only because you are a better communicator.


3. Importance of Communication Skills for Professionals

The workplace is the most commonplace for miscommunication, and it could have serious repercussions on your career. Therefore, as a professional, you need to have excellent communication skills. They will also help you in :-

  • Doing your job well. Good communication skills have a direct impact on how well you perform.
  • Develop yourself as a leader in the workplace which will bring in opportunities to grow and move up.
  • Build good relations and camaraderie with all your fellow employees.
  • Naturally, command respect from your colleagues and even your bosses
  • Improved body language.
  • Zero to minimal professional life stress as you will be doing well.


4. Importance of Communication Skills for Teachers

Teaching is one of the most responsible professions in the world. A country with good teachers will always be on the fast track of development, as teachers are the ones who hone talent. Therefore, if you are in this noble profession, or are thinking of getting into this profession, you need to have excellent communication skills for the following reasons.

  • To communicate with the students better. Students, who connect with their teachers well, understand them better and do well in the subjects they teach.
  • Command respect for your students. Teachers who are excellent communicators are well-respected by the students.
  • You’ll have the ability to get through students who have learning issues. Each student is different, so sometimes, there are students with whom you have to communicate differently for them to be able to learn from you.
  • Make a difference in the lives of students as in most cultures, teachers hold the position of mentors and parent-like figures.
  • Do well in your profession with many opportunities for promotions and a high salary.


5. Importance of Communication Skills in Business & Organization

Businesses and organizations are places where communication skills are required the most. In a business or organization, there are so many departments that have to function like a well-oiled machine. Communication is the key. There are many other reasons as well as to why communication skills are required in a business and organization.

  • Marketing, advertising, and sales are the departments that have to be excellent in communication. Their success will ensure products and services are sold resulting in profits.
  • Excellent communication helps not just get new customers but also helps you retain them and make them loyal customers. A majority of the profits come from retained customers.
  • Building your business or organization’s brand also requires good communication skills. Only then will you be able to build a brand that has reputation and value.
  • Another advantage of good communication skills is being able to create communication for businesses or organizations. Many businesses have trouble with this and end up spending money on professional communication creators.


6. Importance of Communication Skills in the Digital Age

In today’s digital age, effective communication skills are more crucial than ever. Whether in the workplace, in social interactions, or in personal relationships, the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently has become a cornerstone of success and connection. Communication skills have taken on an even greater role in the digital age, influencing success, relationships, and personal growth. Mastering these skills is not only beneficial but often necessary in navigating the complexities of our interconnected, technology-driven world.

In this context, the importance of communication skills can be highlighted through the following bullet points:

  • Global Connectivity: The digital age has interconnected people from all corners of the world. Strong communication skills enable individuals to collaborate, share ideas, and build relationships with a diverse, global audience.
  • Virtual Work Environments: With the rise of remote work and virtual teams, the ability to communicate through digital platforms, video conferences, and written messages is essential for productivity and teamwork.
  • Information Overload: The digital age has brought an abundance of information. Effective communication helps individuals filter, process, and convey information accurately and efficiently.
  • Influence and Persuasion: In a world of online marketing, social media, and digital content, the power to persuade and influence others through well-crafted messages is a valuable skill.
  • Problem Solving: Communication skills are fundamental for resolving conflicts, addressing issues, and finding solutions, both in personal relationships and professional settings.
  • Digital Literacy: Understanding how to communicate in digital formats, such as emails, chat, and social media, is essential to navigate the modern information landscape.
  • Career Advancement: Strong communication skills enhance career prospects by enabling individuals to convey their ideas, collaborate effectively, and engage with clients, colleagues, and superiors.
  • Customer Engagement: Businesses thrive when they can effectively communicate with their customers, addressing their needs, concerns, and feedback in a timely and empathetic manner.
  • Adaptability: In a rapidly changing digital landscape, the ability to adapt communication strategies and tools is essential for staying relevant and competitive.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Effective digital communication requires a high level of emotional intelligence to understand and respond to the emotions and cues of others, fostering better relationships and outcomes.

Key Aspects of Communication Skills

A diverse skill set essential to both personal and professional success is effective communication. We will explore the fundamentals of communication skills, highlighting the components that go into becoming proficient in this essential skill.

Here’s a simple chart outlining key elements of communication skills:

Aspect of Communication Skills Description
Verbal Communication  The use of spoken words and language to convey messages and ideas effectively.
Non-verbal communication  Includes body language, gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice, which can convey emotions and meaning.
Active Listening   The skill of paying close attention to the speaker, understanding their message, and providing feedback to show engagement.
Storytelling  Crafting and delivering engaging narratives to convey information or make a point effectively.
Interpersonal Skills Building and maintaining positive relationships with others, including teamwork and collaboration.
Conflict Resolution  The skill of addressing and resolving disagreements or disputes through effective communication.
Clarity and Conciseness  The ability to convey information in a clear, concise, and understandable manner, avoiding ambiguity.
Empathy  Understanding and sharing the feelings and perspectives of others leads to more meaningful interactions.
Cultural Sensitivity Recognizing and respecting cultural differences in communication, ensuring inclusivity.
Feedback and Critique  The exchange of constructive comments and opinions to enhance understanding and improve communication.
Adaptability  Adjusting communication style and approach to suit the needs and preferences of the audience.
Confidence Self-assuredness in communication allows for assertiveness and the ability to express ideas with conviction.


How to Improve Communication Skills for Students

How To Improve Communication Skills - 10 Tips

Communication skills can be acquired. Being a good communicator can be a part of some people’s natural persona which can be learned. By following the tips given below, you can become an excellent communicator and do well in your personal and professional life.

These tips are easy to understand and follow. Follow them diligently, and there will be a positive change in your communication skills. However, don’t expect overnight miracles. Have some patience to see improved results in yourself.

Here are the top 10 tips to improve your communication skills:

1. Improve Body Language

Body language is all about non-verbal communication. The way you carry yourself is the first impression you give to people whom you are going to be communicating with. Therefore, read up on all the aspects people notice in body language and make changes. Don’t slouch, don’t take negative stances, keep shoulders in an open stance, and make eye contact. These little things will go far in making your body language positive and receptive.


2. To the Point

One of the biggest factors for miscommunication is wasting time on unimportant things. When you are the one communicating, keep it short, simple, and to the point. Don’t beat around the bush wasting time. People will also appreciate your concern for their time. So, just get to the point in a direct yet polite manner. With practice, this will become your natural way of communication.


3. Listen

Communication is not just about being heard, it is also about listening to the other person. So, learn to listen and pay attention to what they are saying. Once they know they have your undivided attention, they will do the same for you. They will also listen to you, creating an uninterrupted channel of communication.


4. Read

To be an excellent communicator, you also need to have good knowledge. And for this, you need to read. Don’t just be knowledgeable about communication; know about other stuff too, especially in a working environment. Know all about your company and the industry it operates in, along with some useful general knowledge. Once people know that you are knowledgeable, you’ll be surprised how many people will come to you for help and discussions.


5. Discuss

Communication is never one-way. It has to be going both ways, so don’t be the one who is always talking. Let the other person talk as well. If the other person is not talkative, you can coax them into communicating, by asking some general questions. Once they get talking, there will be good back and forth and it will be a proper communication channel.


6. Be Respectful

Be it verbal or non-verbal communication, always be respectful of everyone involved. Even if the other person is being rude or condescending, it is up to you to be a good person and continue communicating respectfully. This will, most likely, win over the person. Even if it doesn’t, you will get the practice of being a good, respectful person.


7. Know your Audience

Of course, there is a basic way of communicating with most people. But when you want your communication to evolve, you have to know your audience. Read them, know a bit about them, and know the right way to talk to them. For example, if you are talking to someone junior to you, who is seeking advice, your tone will be different as opposed to when talking with a senior, who is also seeking your advice. The situation is the same yet the person is different and that makes all the difference.


8. Repeat Key Communication

Though you have to be to the point, you still have to repeat the key aspect of your communication to ensure the other person gets it. Start your communication with the key aspect, and also end your communication with the key aspect. This way, the other person will retain important information better.


9. Get Feedback

How will you know if you don’t get feedback? Get feedback from your friends and good acquaintances if they have noticed a difference in your communication skills. Also, ask them for pointers and tips on how to be better. People who know you are the best people to give you advice on improvement.


10. Keep Working On It

Making use of the tips provided just a few times is not going to make a difference. You have to keep working on them constantly. If you do this, being an excellent communicator will become a part of nature without you even realizing it.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Communication Skills

Effective communication is a vital skill that significantly influences the personal, professional, and social aspects of our lives. This section explores the advantages of good communication skills, including enhanced clarity in expressing ideas, improved relationships, and increased confidence. Conversely, it delves into the disadvantages of poor communication skills, such as misunderstandings, conflicts, missed opportunities, and reduced productivity. Understanding the impact of communication skills can empower individuals to harness their strengths and address areas in need of improvement for more successful and fulfilling interactions.


Advantages of Good Communication Skills:

  1. Effective and Clear Expression of Ideas: Good communication skills enable individuals to articulate their thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.
  2. Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships: Strong communication fosters better relationships with colleagues, friends, and family, leading to more meaningful connections.
  3. Improved Problem Solving: Effective communication aids in resolving conflicts and finding solutions to various issues.
  4. Increased Professional Opportunities: Strong communication is a valuable asset in the workplace, leading to career advancement and opportunities.
  5. Boosted Confidence: Proficiency in communication instils self-assurance and the ability to express oneself with conviction.
  6. Efficient Information Sharing: Good communicators can share information efficiently, ensuring that others understand and act on it.


Disadvantages of Poor Communication Skills:

  1. Misunderstandings: Ineffective communication can lead to confusion and misunderstandings, both in personal and professional relationships.
  2. Conflict and Tension: Poor communication often results in conflicts, tensions, and strained relationships.
  3. Missed Opportunities: Lack of effective communication can cause individuals to miss out on valuable opportunities and promotions.
  4. Reduced Productivity: Inefficient communication in the workplace can hamper productivity and collaboration among team members.
  5. Low Confidence: Individuals with poor communication skills may lack the confidence to express themselves or their ideas.
  6. Isolation: A lack of communication skills can lead to social isolation and feelings of being misunderstood.


Books to Improve Communication Skills

Enhancing your communication skills is a valuable endeavor, and numerous books can help you achieve this goal. Here are some recommended reads:

  1. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
  3. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg
  4. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds” by Carmine Gallo
  5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
  6. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss


Games to Improve Communication Skills

Improving communication skills can be fun and engaging when incorporating games into the learning process. Here are some games that can help enhance your communication abilities:

  1. Charades: A classic word-guessing game that encourages non-verbal communication and creativity.
  2. Pictionary: Similar to Charades but with drawings, it promotes clear and concise communication through art.
  3. The Telephone Game: A game where a message is whispered from one person to another, revealing how information can change through communication.
  4. Debate: Structured debates provide a platform for developing argumentation and persuasion skills.
  5. Board Games: Games like “Scrabble” and “Codenames” require effective communication and wordplay.
  6. Escape Room Challenges: Solve puzzles and riddles as a team, necessitating collaboration and clear communication to escape.


Final Words

Be it your personal life or profession, good communication skills are the key to doing well. Therefore, read the information given above, and follow the advice on improving all forms of communication to do well. Whatever your age, you can work on your communication skills and become an excellent communicator.

ASM's Institute of Business Management & Research, Pune was established in 1983. It is affiliated to University of Pune. It is a prominent institute for higher education in the state of Maharashtra.