Posted 27 May 2011 by Chris Farmer
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Communication Skills Examples
Good communication is defined as: the accurate transfer of information and emotion.
The three laws on good communication give three principles that you can apply to improve your skills as a communicator.
The first law of communication
Memorise this phrase:
"Clarity is a virtue. Vagueness is a vice"
"Vagueness" is defined as:
Any word or phrase that can properly be interpreted in more than one way.
i.e. if you give your message, but phrase it in such open terms, that your listeners are able to derive multiple meanings from your words, then: What would be the long term painful consequences of such vague communication in an organisation like yours?
- Such communication would cause people to misinterpret your message, and therefore, you would NOT get the job done properly.
- Such communication would become the cause of arguments, because you would blame the other for not doing it right, and he would blame you for not explaining it correctly.
Remember the following:
Being specific is better than being vague.
Only in politics can a person get away with "vague abstractions"
In politics, they say things like
"I believe in progress, change and fairness - a good society and a promising future for all our children - So vote for me!"
That is all very nice, but the above message has no precise meaning: and that is why politicians love that type of rhetoric.
But in your business, if you say something, then let it mean something specific.
In your business, you have to be clear and precise in your choice of words.
"Clarity is a virtue. Vagueness is a vice".
How can you become more specific?
Use numbers more frequently
The use of Numbers
Question: What is the best and easiest way to improve the accuracy of your language?
Answer: Use numbers. The use of numerals is the easiest and most effective way to improve your clarity.
Because using numbers introduces exact quantities, exact times; they carry more specific information. Numbers improve the quantitative nature of your language: they make it less prone to mis- interpretation.
What is wrong with the following statements?
How would you fix them, using numbers?
- Can you get those items to me as soon as possible?
- Would you please arrange for some flowers to be delivered?
- Would you put it up a bit higher
- I was hoping you might give me a reduction for cash
- I want to improve my sales
- Do you have one that's bigger?
Ask for, and explain yourself, by using numbers
The second law of communication
The second law of communication is as follows:
Gaining "Understanding" takes precedence over gaining an "agreement".
- If you understand me, but disagree, I have still communicated my message: you understand me, but you disagree with me.
- But if you don't even understand me, then I am in big trouble.
- If you mis-understand me, then I am in big trouble.
As a speaker and writer, you need:
- To be understood
- To gain their agreement
You cannot afford to have agreements based upon mis-understandings
What would be the long term painful consequences you would suffer, if you made a business agreement, but based it on a mis-understanding?
Strive to understand and to be understood.
Third Law of communication: Listen for longer than you speak.
Listening gives you tremendous advantages:
- You learn more about what the other person thinks is important, right and good and that, dear reader, is vital information.
- You are demonstrating the art of "good manners"
- Listening gives you extra time to think about what you should say, before you say it.
- Remember that it is impossible to say the wrong thing whilst you are listening
Before you go, take 30 seconds to memorise this short list of communication laws:
- "Clarity is a virtue. Vagueness is a vice".
- Strive to understand and to be understood.
- Listen for longer than you speak.
For more information about communication skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website