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Improve your Communication

Improve your communication

Communication Skills

Are you looking for some training relating to communication skills?

Communication is the act of transferring your mental images, ideas, information, facts and feelings into the minds of others.

Some people are good at communicating. They find it easy to find the right word or phrase to capture their exact meaning, so that when they speak, or when they write, you know exactly what they mean.

Other people are not good at communicating. These poor people do not find it easy to find the right word or phrase with which to express their exact meaning, and so, when they write or speak, their meaning remains hidden or it is uncertain. Their listeners are left in a state of bewilderment; they are wondering, "When you say that, what exactly do you mean?"

I know what I mean but I can't explain it

Do you ever say to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"?

If you do, then you can relax, because almost everyone feels like that, sometimes.

But my point is this: you NEED to be able to explain yourself. And therefore you need to master language. You need to master the proper use of English.

Since you cannot use telepathy, and mostly, you cannot use drawings or pictograms to express your meaning, then your words are your most important tool of self-expression.

Forget those so called "experts" who claim that only 7% of your communication is contained in the words that you use; and that 38% of your communication is contained in your voice tones, and that 55% of your communication is contained in your body language. The truth is that, if you are communicating with human beings, (as opposed to your cat or your dog) then it is your words that are your most essential tool of communication.

(It is instructive to note that even the "experts" needed to use words and mathematical logic to express their conviction that words and mathematical logic play only a minor role in communication.)

In the human world of work, your ability to make rapid progress will depend largely on your ability to convince people, intellectually, that your ideas, your information, your recommendations and your opinions are of high value and therefore should be acted upon. And in turn this ability is dependent on your ability to use the right words to express your exact meaning.

If you have the right ideas but you express them using poor language skills, then the doors won't open.

If you have the right ideas and you express them using excellent oratory skills, then the doors will more likely open.

And it is interesting, that even if you have the WRONG ideas, but you use excellent language skills, then you will be able to persuade people to follow you, simply on the strength of your oratory.

History shows us the power of the orator. People who are excellent communicators tend to bend the world to their view: for good or for evil purposes.

Example: Hitler was not known for his great intellect, but rather for his powers of verbal expression, to persuade a multitude of minds.

JFK was not known for his high morality, but rather for his powers to inspire others, which was a function of his skill as an orator.

Let us make some specific notes on how you could train yourself to be a better speaker.

Notes on the proper use of language

1. Select your vocabulary: Make your meaning as clear and distinct as you can

The most common error made by most people, is to be unclear; to be too ambiguous; to be too general, in their use of language. Bear in mind that your words should denote only ONE possible meaning; not ten possible meanings.

The most important thing about your communication is that it should denote something specific.

If your language is too general, then others are likely to mis-understand your meaning.

Keep your language as tightly worded as you can.

Be very wary of "lose language".

Examples of lose language

Lose language is usually born out of poor sentence structure, as in the following example.

Instead of saying, "When I nod my head, you hit that nail with your hammer"; the poor communicator says:
"When I nod my head, you hit it with your hammer!"

Second example of poor wording:
Instead of saying, "What is troubling you?"
The poor communicator says, "What is wrong with you?"

Third example of poor communication: The poor communicator says, "Make me a cup of tea, no sugar".
Instead of saying, "Would you please, make me a cup of tea with no sugar?"
Or even better, "Would you like me to make you a cup of tea, my Sugar?"

It's all about the words you choose to use

Your life will evolve along positive or negative trends, based, very largely, on the relationships you manage to forge with others. And your relationships with others will be forged, largely, on how well you speak to them.

If you speak well and with skill, then your relationships will be sound, and your better future will be assured.

But if you speak badly and without skills, then your relationships will become unsound and your future looks bleak.

2. Inject reason into everything you say

Have you ever heard people say that, "Everything happens for a reason". Well, the same should be true about your communication.

"Everything you say, should be said for a reason."

This means that you should not talk for the sake of it.

Make everything you say, purposeful; reasonable.

Try to become known as; "The voice of Reason."

Reason is mankind's distinctive attribute. It is your power of reason that makes you special.

Your ideas should be checked by your reason.

Your plans should be validated by your reason.

Your wording should always be reasonable.

If you are not "running on reason", then you are going to sound either, unreasonable, or irrational, or both!

Look for the logic

Reason is mankind's distinctive attribute and logic is the method of your reason. Try to give a logic for everything that you say.

Make your proposals and your plans and your reasoning as logical as you can.

If you claim that something should be done, then you need to show a logic that underpins your suggestion.

If there is no logic then there is no leverage.

Logic is the lever you need to convince other people to listen to your point of view.

If you are illogical, irrational and unreasonable, nobody will listen. Or at least, they shouldn't.

3. Be positive

Positive communication means "communication delivered with a positive motivation".

There are three main emotions that will motivate others to act.

  1. Anger, based upon thinking about a bad event that happened in the past. Anger will motivate people into action.
  2. Fear, based upon thinking about a bad event that may happen in the future. Fear will motivate people into action.
  3. Optimism based upon thinking about a good event that may happen in the future. Optimism will motivate people into action.

Notice that, of the three major classes of motivational emotions, two classes are essentially negative and one class is essentially positive.

  • Anger and fear are essentially negative emotions.
  • Optimism is essentially a positive emotion.

The point here is to make your communications mostly from the positive frame of optimism, and keep your communications away from anger and fear.

Try to make it so that all your communications are permeated with a prevailing sense of optimism.

Remember that nobody really likes a grump. Nobody wants to associate with someone who permeates their language with the emotions of anger, and fear.

On the other hand, most people like to feel optimistic. We are attracted to those people who make it sound as if the future will be better than the past.

Hope heals the mind

So, the next point is vitally important: try to be the person who speaks optimistically about the future, most of the time.

Colour your communication with visions of victory.

Don't downgrade the future with dismal prophecies of doom and despair.

If you do, you'll be banished.

Be a rational optimist.

Be optimistic; and make sure that you give a logical argument to justify your optimism.

Summary of points

  1. Language is your primary tool of expression.
  2. Be clear and distinct in your use of words.
  3. Give a reason and a logic for everything you propose.
  4. Tend towards optimism.

Tips to improve your communication skills.

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Communication Skills Training

Do you ever think to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"? You need to be able communicate facts, feelings, information and ideas, in a clear, professional and confident manner. If you want to learn more about our communication skills training, please click here.

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