Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Communication Skills

How would you rate your communication skills?
Do you often walk away from a conversation unsure of what someone was trying to tell you? Do you ever feel like others did not understand what you were trying to tell them? Or maybe you felt like the person to whom you were speaking was bored or disinterested in what you were saying.

Good communication skills will not only help with personal relationships and friendships, but will also help with school and career success. While good communication skills may seem like common sense, its amazing how many people are terrible at this. The simplest skill includes looking people in the eye when communicating. How difficult could that be? You would be amazed. Especially with all the distractions we have these days. Have you ever been talking to someone while they checked messages on their phone or were looking in another direction or even worse... texting someone else in the middle of your conversation? How did that make you feel? Most likely, you felt as though they did not care to hear what you were saying.

A good basic rule of communication is respect. When having a conversation, look others in the eye. Give them your full attention. Ask questions. If you need to, restate what someone is saying to make sure you understand important tasks like instructions. And, always watch your tone. Remember, your tone communicates more effectively than your words. Maybe your friend is celebrating a big accomplishment. There can be a noticeable difference in tone when you say, "congratulations." Did you sound excited when you said that word? Or did you say that word with a tone that felt envious, jealous or unimpressed? Your tone will express much more about how you feel than the word itself.

So, next time you are having a conversation, pay attention to your body language and your tone. Are you present and engaged in the conversation? Is the other person? Always show others respect by being both a good speaker and listener. That is your key to great communication.

1 comment:

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