Updated June 2, 2023
All About Communication Skills Basics
In today’s world, the basics of communication skills are highly vital. Interpersonal communication skills play a key role in an individual’s success. In the corporate world, communication skills are important in determining an individual’s career path. Since it is important to reach out to supervisors, peers, subordinates, etc., in the workplace, communication skills are highly essential. However, not everyone is born with good communication skills.
Communication Skills Basics
- For most people, they need to learn these communication skills from an external source and then practice them repeatedly in order to communicate with ease.
- Effective communication skills are very important in professional life as well as personal life. Excellent communication skills are a prerequisite for a number of job positions.
- There are a variety of social occasions where people with excellent communication skills enjoy higher social standing owing to a large number of contacts or friends.
- Communication is simply an act of transferring information from one person to another via a medium. The ultimate goal of any communication process is understanding.
- There are two entities involved in the communication process: the Sender and Receiver. The sender conveys the information, and the receiver perceives the information through an information medium. The roles can be interchanged based on the nature of the conversation.
- Effective communication skills involve both verbal and nonverbal communication. The basics of communication skills involve expressing thoughts through words as well as nonverbal communication like postures, body language, gestures, etc.
- Imbibing communication skills also involves active listening skills, stress management techniques, the capability to recognize others’ emotions, etc.
- It helps develop new contacts, improved teamwork, problem-solving capabilities, and decision-making abilities.
- Effective communication skills are more effective when they are applied instantly. It requires time, effort, and hard work to inculcate these communication skills and become an excellent communicator.
There are different types of communication skills:
Three Pillars Of Communication Skills
The basic model of Communication Skills has three layers: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
Ethos simply means “ethics.” It gauges the credibility and trustworthiness of a speaker. Ethics indicate the speaker’s ability to appeal to people, i.e., how the audience would perceive the speaker.
Pathos signifies “empathy.” In other words, how well a speaker understands and comprehends the feelings of his/her listener.
Also known as “logic,” it signifies the strength and power of the speaker’s thoughts and how well he/she is presenting those thoughts to the audience.
This model emphasizes that to communicate effectively; one should have credibility, understand the feelings of his listener, and skillfully present his ideas to the audience.
Some ground rules which should be kept in mind while communicating with others are:
- One should not say anything and everything that comes to mind out loud. Take some time to recollect your thoughts and properly analyze them before speaking.
- Align your thoughts in such a way that the actual thoughts are clearly conveyed in words, thereby decreasing instances of miscommunication.
- Always analyze your own words, i.e., know how the audience will perceive the message.
- The speaker will appear intelligent and mature if he speaks fluently and confidently.
- Nonverbal communication skills are equally important when communicating with others. The messages conveyed by eye contact and body language are vital while establishing communication with someone.
- The flow of communication should be clear, precise, crisp, and easy to understand.
- It is best to minimize the use of complicated language and jargon.
- It is always advisable to avoid sexist and racist terminology in communication in order to prevent offensive situations.
- Before communicating with others, pay attention to differences in culture, attitude, past experiences, abilities, etc.
The Process Of Communication
The sender delivers the required message to one or multiple receivers via a communication medium. The sender must encode the information in a form that is suitable for the selected communication channel.
Once the message is conveyed, the receiver decodes the information to extract its significance and meaning.
It is a simple process, but sometimes, due to some errors, misunderstandings take place. If the communication skills are not improved, it may lead to barriers in communication, thereby preventing the receiver from decoding the correct meaning.
An efficient communicator analyzes his/her audience, understands them, selects an appropriate communication medium, modifies the message according to the medium, and encodes the message properly to minimize any faulty decoding by the receiver.
Barriers to Communication
There can be several barriers to communication that can prevent a receiver from correctly interpreting the message sent by the sender. They are:
- Emotional Barriers: When a person is overexcited or extremely sad, it is more likely to cause misunderstandings in his/her communication. In such cases, relaxing first and proceeding with the conversation is advisable.
- Physical Barriers: At times, there can be issues with the communication medium, like excessive sounds in the surroundings, hissing noise in the telephone, the voice of the speaker not being audible, etc. As a result, the receiver may not perceive the message properly.
- Lifestyle Barriers: A person cannot communicate effectively while multitasking. When performing multiple jobs at the same time, people tend to miss the nonverbal signals in communication.
- Improper Non-verbal Communication Skills: The verbal message should match the nonverbal cues; otherwise, the receiver may not be able to interpret the correct meaning of the message. For example, one can’t say “no” by nodding and indicating “yes.”
Ways of Improving Communication Skills
Sharpen your Listening Skills:
The first and foremost thing one can do to improve communication skills is to make a concerted effort to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. In a professional setting, whether in meetings or group discussions, it is highly important to engage in active listening.
One should always try to understand the other person’s viewpoint, which reduces misunderstandings to a great extent. Developing empathy for others strengthens the relationship. It helps you comprehend the unspoken aspects of the communication and respond accordingly.
Try to be BRIEF, but Specific:
BRIEF is a popular acronym that stands for Background, Reason, Information, End, and Follow Up. The formula is followed in sending professional emails, which helps keep the emails short while still containing all vital points. The acronym can be utilized in verbal communication as well. In an official communication, one should follow the 7 C’s: Complete, Coherent, Correct, Courteous, Clear, Concise, and Concrete.
Customize your Message for your Audience:
The communication message would vary for a co-worker, for a professional senior, for kids or elders, and so on. It is prudent to gauge the other person’s attitude, edit the message accordingly, and deliver it.
Checking your phone while another person speaks with you is highly unprofessional and rude. If it is not absolutely necessary to use any technological devices, you can avoid them for some time. If not possible, at least maintain looking at the person while he conveys something.
Make Clarifications When Needed:
When engaging in communication with others, one should ask questions in between and avoid staring or nodding silently. It is good to repeat the last few words of what the speaker was saying to indicate your interest level. It also helps in clarifying any facts that may have been wrongly interpreted. Furthermore, it fills the awkward silence between the conversations.
Present a Story:
Stories leave a lasting impression on the audience. Stories usually activate our brain cells, make the presentation less boring, help us perform better in interviews, and so on. Communicators present ideas as stories to engage and captivate their audience.
Prepare a Small Script:
One should always be prepared for small talk and have a fixed plan. The FORD method (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams) is quite helpful in initiating small talks. It makes it easier to turn small talk into long conversations with meaningful information sharing.
Avoid Unnecessary Communication Fillers:
The unnecessary words between the conversations, like “ah,” “um,” “oho,” etc., disturb the natural flow of the speech. It is better to avoid them as much as possible. Take a deep breath and pause between your speech to minimize the use of communication fillers.
Check your Body Language:
Improper body language during speaking may convey a different meaning. Such nonverbal communication cues, like body posture, gestures, eye contact, laughter control, etc., should be correctly realized to convey the correct meaning of the conversation.
Use Humor Correctly:
Humor relaxes people and releases endorphins, which help lower anxiety and stress. Most people can relate to someone who makes them laugh heartily. It is wise to be funny or witty in conversations, but do make sure that it is appropriate and within limits. Utilize humor to minimize communication barriers and gain the affection and trust of others.
Avoid Differentiating People:
It is always advised to communicate with other people on an equal basis. Avoid making favorites and talking behind people’s backs in all situations. If you treat people equally, you can easily build trust and respect. Always verify what people understand from your conversation to avoid negative feelings and confusion. Always encourage honest and open feedback from your receiver.
Make a Conscious Effort for Conflict Resolution:
Be prepared to resolve any issues. It is vital to be an effective negotiator. You can apply your listening skills to understand all sides of an argument. In conflict resolution, try not to be too judgmental and practice empathy.
Keep a Positive Attitude:
People avoid those who are always miserable and sulky. Sometimes in life, things do not go as planned. Maintain your cool in such situations and communicate effectively with others. Always maintain a cheerful, positive attitude towards life and a bright smile.
Do not Interrupt:
When someone is giving a speech, do not interrupt him/her frequently, as it disrupts the natural flow of communication. So you’d better bite your tongue and hold back. Let the other person finish his speech before you start putting your questions.
Make an effort to Assert Yourself:
Communication between two or more people should be open, clear, direct, honest, and respectful. Direct and assertive expression of your ideas helps increase self-esteem and improve decision-making. One should value his own idea, accept feedback positively, learn how to say no, and express all negative ideas in a positive way. Sometimes it is alright to be angry, but one should have a respectful approach.
Communication is vital to everyone’s daily life—personal or professional. Lack of proper communication skills can have terrible results, like emotional turbulence, frustration, stress, depression, unproductive meetings, inefficient teamwork, inability to achieve goals, etc.
It is very important to be a good communicator in order to be successful, popular, and famous. We are living in a society where we have to socialize. In order to socialize well, it is very important to be a good communicator. It maintains your dignity, respect, and standard in society.
We hope these tips will make you soar high in communication skills.
Here are some articles that will further help you improve your communication skills. Please visit the links below.