Communication skills are one of the top skills, you need to achieve excellence either in your personal, professional or social life. Effective communication means the ability to understand others in a better way and being able to share your ideas and experiences effectively.
An individual’s communication skills can distinguish and mark the journey of one’s life achievements. Whether you are a leader, teacher or politician, progress is not possible without effective communication skills. With improved communication skills, it is easy to make your ideas clear to others and convince them to your point.
Communication is a skill that can be learned and developed. This is very significant to master this skill so that you can feel natural and confident both in your social and professional life.
Let’s discuss in detail how to understand and sharpen your communication skills.
Important domains of communication skills
Here are some important domains of communication skills and the ways to improve them:
Listening is the prime tool in the communication process. It is the best skill you need to improve for communicating with others. By listening, you observe others’ styles that help you in improving your style. It enables you to understand others in a better way.
Listening is important because if you are a good listener then you can also be a good speaker. By listening, you learn to express your ideas and hence, convince others easily to your idea.
How can we improve listening?
For listening, it is important to develop a learning attitude, not earning attitude. With a learning attitude, you listen to learn and understand others. While earning attitude makes you to argue with others and insist them to get your point without any strong justification.
Instead of arguing, learn to listen to others calmly, as winning arguments means losing the relationship. This kind of attitude leads to ineffective communication.
Various studies show that 7 percent of communication is verbal, 38 percent is the tone and inflection and remaining 55 percent is body language.
Non-verbal cues are very important part of our daily conversation improving your communication skills. These include eye contact, facial expressions, body language etc.
Facial expressions are responsible for a lot of information during the conversation. Imagine how many meanings a single smile can convey. Simply just your facial expressions can tell others that how happy or unsatisfied you are with their idea or performance.
The eyes are a very important part of communication skills. Our eyes reveal who we are. So, the role of eye contact cannot be mitigated at any cost.
Researchers suggest that humans should maintain 60 to 70 percent of the time for building an emotional connection during the conversation.
Maintaining good eye contact indicates that you are a confident and honest personality. It also shows that you are actively listening and you are interested in communicating with others. On the other hand, being not able to maintain eye contact may show that you are lying.
Body language and facial expressions
Research shows that the words or language, we use, plays only 3 per cent role in communication skills. The basic role is of our body language and facial expressions which play 97 per cent role in our communication process.
Body language has a very important role in the communication process. When we communicate with others, our body also plays its role in our communication process. With a strong body language, you can easily make your ideas clear to others.
How can we improve non-verbal communication?
One of the best ways to improve non-verbal communication is self-talk by standing in front of the mirror. It is important because in this way, you can observe yourself. You can observe your gestures, eye contact, body language and also the mistakes that weaken your body language.
Observing yourself will help you in strengthening your communication skills. It also enables you in building confidence in yourself.
Another way to improve the body language is by making your video while communicating and then improve your mistakes by observing and watching the video again and again.
Confidence is critically important for effective communication process. It enables you to achieve excellence in your work. It allows you to perform with full energy and use all the skills that are required for effective communication.
Without confidence, you might get confused and forget the important points to say. When you are confident, you are more relaxed and it will be easier for you to understand others and make them clear about your opinion.
How can we build confidence?
- Instead of staring at windows, walls or floor of the room, make a confident eye contact with the person whom you are talking.
- Listening to others and understanding those builds confidence in you to respond them and sharing your ideas with them.
- Improving your mistakes by observing yourself in front of mirror certainly builds confidence in you.
- Communicating more and more with people also helps in improving communication skills and building skills.
Honestly means expressing the truth or sharing useful ideas and not misleading others. It is very important for effective communication. You can’t be confident without honesty. Honesty is important to earn others’ trust.
Honesty leads to clear understanding and paying respect for the opposite views and opinions. For making progress on sound basis, it is important, to be honest. It’s all about being truthful and being straightforward in talking about the truth.
Emotional control is the ability to understand manage feelings and emotions of self. Emotional awareness is important for better communication. It enables you to handle critical situations and other problems.
It’s all about staying calm and reacting with right amount of emotions according to the situation. Emotional intelligence is important as it allows you to speak from heart and engage others easily in your communication process. Keep in mind that emotions also help in managing the conflicts and handling all the problems in a smooth way.
Many people consider English language as a huge barrier in communicating process. We need to understand that a good communication does not mean knowing the English language. Language and communication are two different things. English is a language and communication is an art that can be learned and developed by practice.
Language is certainly a source of communication but it’s not a final tool for someone to communicate. You use either your native language or any other standard language, what you communicate and how you communicate is more important than the language you use as a source.
If you have good communication skills, you don’t need a lot of vocabulary or words to share your ideas. On the hand, if you have learnt the whole dictionary of Oxford but your style and sentence making is not good, you can’t convince others and make them clear about your ideas.
Besides these, there are many other ways also, to improve your communication skills:
- Practice your communication skills more and more by sharing your stories and experiences with your friends and family.
- Start observing those people whose communication skills inspire you and communicate more and more with them. By observing such people, you will also subconsciously adopt their style of communication and your skills will start getting improved.
- If you are a student, you should participate in the curricular activities in school, college or university. The activities in institutions such as speaking on a topic on a special day, performing drama, debates etc. play a very important role in improving communication skills. You learn to act and speak with confidence. Your non-verbal communication will be improved and you will get confidence.