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, there are many people who 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 communication skills and use them to improve your personal and professional life.
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 is 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, 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:
Verbal communication is the most common type of communication. Talking face-to-face, over the phone, addressing a group, and video conferencing are the most common types of verbal communication. In this, you use a common language spoken and understood by the people you are communicating with to create a communication channel where theres a back and forth of conversation. Most people are good with verbal communication in their personal lives, but when it comes to their professional lives, they struggle – public speaking being the most common problem. However, with practice, overall verbal skills can be improved.
According to a few studies, close to 55% to 60% of communication is now being done non-verbally. People now tend to pay, just as much if not more, attention to your body language and other non-verbal gestures. Along with body language, gestures, facial expressions, nods, and other physical movements are classified as non-verbal communication. Nowadays, non-verbal communication is being stressed upon by people in personal as well as professional settings, and rightly so. This is quite an honest way of communication, and can rarely be faked. Therefore, good non-verbal communication skills can play a huge role in your personal and professional life.
Pictures, maps, drawings, charts, graphs, designs, colours, etc. any form of communication that relies on visual stimuli without or with minimal use of words and numbers, to get a message across, is visual communication. In the modern world, visual communication skills are being highly sought after as they are an intelligent way of communication. It takes a lot of hard work and practice to become a good visual communicator, but it completely worth having this skill.
The use of the written word to communicate in known languages or numbers is written communication. With the advent of technology, written communication has been increasing. The younger generation prefers to use textual communication over verbal communication when it is not face-to-face. Texting, commenting, reviewing, and emailing have all become forms of written communication. Previously, it was only in the form of books, notes, letters, notices, memos, etc. But it has evolved. The great thing about written communication skills is that it can be learned and mastered.
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, heres some information that highlights the importance of communication, and how it changes in context to the situation, profession, and context.
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.
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:-
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:-
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.
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.
Communication skills can be acquired. Being a good communicator can be a part of some peoples natural persona, it is, however, not something that cant 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, dont expect overnight miracles. Have some patience to see improved results in yourself.
Here are the top 10 tips to improve your communication skills:
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. Dont slouch, dont 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.
One of the biggest factors for miscommunication is wasting time on unimportant things and not getting to the point. When you are the one communicating, keep it short, simple and to-the-point. Dont 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.
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.
To be an excellent communicator, you also need to have good knowledge. And for this, you need to read. Dont just be knowledgeable about communication; know about other stuff too, especially in a working environment. Know all about your company and industry they operate, along with some useful general knowledge. Once people know that you are knowledgeable, youll be surprised how many people will come to you for help and discussions.
Communication is never one-way. It has to be going both ways, so dont 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.
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 doesnt, you will get a practice of being a good, respectful person.
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.
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.
How will you know if you dont 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.
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 realising it.
Be it your personal life of professional, good communication skills are the key to do well. Therefore, read the information given above, and follow the advice on improving all forms of communication to do well. Whatever you age, you can work on your communication skills and become an excellent communicator.