Communication Skills | How To Listen, Speak & Understand Effectively

Communication Skills | How To Listen, Speak & Understand Effectively

Communication Skills | How To Listen, Speak & Understand Effectively

Communication Skills | How To Listen, Speak & Understand Effectively

Communication Skills | How To Listen, Speak & Understand Effectively

Written by dating coach for men Gary Gunn - Founder of Social Attraction

Never underestimate the skill of being able to convey information to others effectively and efficiently – and, in return, comprehensively understand the information being passed on. It can be argued that being a good communicator is one of life’s most important and hardest skills to master – if indeed it can be mastered at all.

Human beings are born with a compulsion to communicate. From cradle to grave, we talk and listen, yet these inherent facets or capabilities of human nature are taken for granted. Rarely are they developed as skills in the professional arena and even less within personal environments.

One reason is that communication is not just about words spoken or heard; there are many different ways of transferring messages and their meanings from one person to another. It may be verbally (voice); it may be non-verbally (body language, gestures); it may be visually (pictures, photos); or it may be in written text (books, emails, documents). Frequently and in practice, it is the combination of all of these that makes good communication a skilled art form that has to be learnt.

Communication is a two-way street with a common destination. It requires speaking and listening, but vitally, it needs a shared understanding of the information being sent and received. The key word here is shared.

The sender must be accurate and clear; the receiver must listen carefully. However, in both cases, clarifying questions and answers must follow to ensure the two parties are ‘on the same page’. Without total comprehension, the risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding rises to levels that may negatively impact relationships to the point of breaking down altogether.  The skill of communicating, therefore, is very much a bilateral process of integrated action from both directions rather than one of lethargic passivity from either.

Choice of appropriate vocabulary, active listening and clarification of understanding – through questioning – are certainly essential skills in verbal communication.

Reflection is another process by which paraphrasing and restating what has been heard can verify meaning and intention. Yet ironically, the majority of how another person is accurately understood comes from the skill of reading their non-verbal signs and intelligently connecting with them on an emotional level.

This includes observing hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, tone and volume of voice, postures and even appearance.

The reinforcement or undermining of any spoken message is hugely affected by employing the skill – or not – of body language. Additionally, the capacity for understanding people emotionally whilst they are communicating is often not taken into account. Developing emotional intelligence – demonstrating empathy, interpreting and managing others feelings, understanding the impact of one’s own emotions on another – is fundamental to good communication skills.

It is an understatement to call communication skills a complex subject. Quite simply, human beings are complex creatures. It is a skill like no other; excellent communicators are seldom. There are so many areas, situations, techniques and nuances to consider. On the other hand, it can be learned by literally anybody – starting today – who has the power of speech and hearing; slowly but surely, given time.

Perhaps for this reason, it is beneficial to view and describe communicative development and improvement in this contradictory term: A lifetime investment that pays off daily.


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