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Communication Skills Training- How to Communicate Clearly

Communication skills training-  how to communicate clearly

How to communicate clearly

Communication skill training is most important to you, because many people lack good communication skills.
And the consequences of having poor communication skills can be serious, indeed.

Poor communication skills can lead to the following painful consequences:

  1. Misunderstandings
  2. Confusion
  3. Avoidable errors
  4. Conflict and....
  5. A poor work atmosphere

If you improve your communication skills, then you will be able to rectify all these problems and replace them with the opposite benefits: i.e.

  1. Mutual understanding
  2. Greater clarity
  3. Avoidance of errors
  4. More cooperation
  5. A productive work atmosphere

Question
What are the best and easiest steps to take, in order to most rapidly improve your communications skills?

Answer
Take the following steps:

As a speaker:

  1. Slowdown
  2. Structure your message
  3. Make your conclusions clear
  4. Repeat your key points
  5. Put strict limits on the quantity

As a listener:

  1. Focus your mind on the message
  2. Slow the speaker
  3. Try to visualise
  4. If in doubt, ask questions
  5. If possible, take written notes

Let us write some notes on each item:

1. Slow down

Why should the speaker slow down the rate of delivery of his - her message?
Answer: In order to allow the mind of the listener to absorb the message.

Please note
There is a difference between hearing a message and absorbing a message.

If you speak too quickly, then the listener will hear you, but will not be able to absorb your message and therefore, will not be able to understand, nor remember what you said.

Slow down.

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2. Structure your message

Why should the speaker structure the message?
Answer: In order that the reasoning and logic of the message is self-evident.

Your listener needs to learn two things from you:

  1. What you think is true
  2. The reasons why you think it is true

The listener needs both elements.

If you say "I believe X is true" but fail to give any reasons or facts to back up your claim, then what you say will seem arbitrary and worthless.
On the other hand, if you supply only list of facts, but don't draw any intelligent conclusions from the facts, then the listener will think "I understand what you are saying but ....so what?"

3. Make your conclusions clear

Place your conclusions at the beginning of the piece or right at the end.
Don't bury your conclusions in amongst reasons
If you do bury your conclusions in amongst the reasons, then the listener won't hear them.

4. Repeat key points

Here is a sad fact: Most of what you say or write will be forgotten by nearly everyone!
Sad but true.

How can you therefore, imprint your key points upon their memory?
Answer

Repeat! repeat! Repeat!
Don't be afraid to repeat your key points

Napoleon Bonaparte once said:
"Repetition is the strongest argument" Meaning: if you keep saying something, then eventually, it will sink in!

Putting the same point the other way:
If you say something only once, then it is likely to go in one ear - and out the other!

Repeat repeat repeat!

5. Put strict limits on the quantity

How many pieces of information can the average brain absorb in one sitting?
Answer: About 9 Tops!

Example
If they were dealt out in front of you, how many playing cards could you memorise in the correct sequence?
Answer: About 9 Tops!

This point has implications for you, as a communicator

The implication is: Don't say too much.

  • In communication: more is not necessarily better!
  • In communication: less is more!

Question

Are you better served?

  1. Making 9 points that the others can retain in their memory, or....
  2. Making 15 points that the others cannot retain in their memory?

Answer
You are better served making nine points (or less) that the other person can retain in their memory.
But what if you have more than 9 points to make?
Then split them into "chunks" and deliver them in packets of 9 (or less).

Which means that I should stop writing now and continue the points concerning listening in my next blog.

For your memory's sake here are the main points again.

As a speaker

  1. Slow down
  2. Structure your message
  3. Make your conclusions clear
  4. Repeat key points
  5. Put strict limits on the quantity

For more information about communication skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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