Why is the stress so much on communication skills these days? You must have heard people separately taking workshops to learn communication skills. Be it managers, entrepreneurs, clerks, staff, teachers, engineers, bankers, every occupation requires you to have good communication skills. Why is that so? What power does our speech hold?
In this age of such social media connectivity one may question why is there a need to learn communication skills separately? We think that because of social media we communicate enough and that we are well connected and in touch with each other.
We are in a delusion because social media is all set in a virtual world. Typing comments in face book is not equivalent to commenting public, tweeting in twitter is not the same as giving a speech in front of real audience. We are in a delusion that we are good in communicating with each other. If we are to sit in front of each other in real time with real people we will be dumbfounded at our inability to have even a simple conversation with each other.
Let us come back to the question with which we began, what is good communication skill so important? Communication is the mode by which we convey our thoughts and ideas. This can be done by writing, speaking or some other medium. Having good communication skills is obviously necessary because if we cannot convey our idea properly to others then their outcome will not be correct. No one wants that to happen, especially in a business setting.
Now that the importance of good communication skills is established let us learn a few tips that will help in it.
- Body language
Body language to our surprise forms a major portion of communication. Our motions convey more than our words. Our postures and gestures give away our thoughts and emotions. Keep appropriate distance while conversing. Maintain eye contact. Touch only when appropriate. Be aware of your surroundings and the people in it. Try reading the hints people give. Appearances do matter. Dress according to the occasion and smile genuinely.
Communication is a two way process, involving both speaking and listening. Listening is also very important. Merely hearing doesn’t count in good communication skills. There is a huge difference in listening and hearing. Hearing is just a physical process whereas listening is physical as well as a mental process too. Listening is hard. You must choose to listen. Good listening includes paying attention to the speaker, taking notes if necessary, maintain eye contact and responding too when required. The result of poor listening can be disastrous in business, employment and social relations.
To be an effective communicator so that your ideas reach to your listeners in the most pristine form, you need to work on your speech. There are four key areas that need focus. Clarity, integrity, adequacy and timing are those.
Clarity of speech is very necessary. Whatever you wish to convey should be crisp and clear so that there is no scope of misunderstandings.
Speech should be adequate, well prepared and appropriate.
Timing is all that matters in the end. Make your speech at the correct time and it will bear the right results.