Skills on effective communication
1. Communication is defined as "the transfer of information and emotion from one mind to another".
2. To a degree, your success depends upon being able to accurately communicate your ideas to the minds of other people.
3. If you cannot accurately communicate and explain your ideas to others, then you will not succeed as well as you otherwise could.
4. In addition, you need to be able to express your emotions (i.e. how you feel and why) to the important people in your life.
5. If you cannot express yourself emotionally, then you will not have good relationships.
6. Your ability to communicate is made up of subset skills.
7. The subsets of communication are: your voice tone, body language, logical speech, emotional expression, and your written language.
8. Your voice tone has subsets qualities.
9. The subset qualities of voice tone are; volume, pitch, rhythm, pace and emphasis.
10. The volume of your voice is a measure of how loudly you speak.
11. If you speak too loudly, you may sound as if you are uncouth and coarse.
12. If you speak too softly, you may sound as if you lack assertiveness.
13. Always be conscious of your voice volume and place it at the right level that is consistent with your communication goals.
14. Your voice pitch is the measure of how high, or how low, your voice resonates.
15. Don't allow your voice be too high-pitched; as that sounds too shrill and juvenile.
16. Use the lower end of your natural voice range; as that sounds more authoritative.
17. The "rhythm" of your voice is a measure of the pulse. Good orators have a good sense of pulse and are able to increase and decrease their pulse rate; which has a dramatic effect on the listener's subconscious evaluation of their message.
18. "Pace" is a measure of the rate of your delivery: the number of words per minute.
19. Slow down to a pace that will allow the listener to be able to absorb the content and meaning of your message.
20. Don't speak so quickly that the listener is only able to hear your words but not able to take it in and retain your message in memory.
21. "Emphasis" relates to your choice of which words and phrases you choose to stress:
22. "I didn't say HE did it" means something different to " I... didn't say he did it".
23. Your body language too, is composed of subset skills.
24. The subset skills sets that go to make up your body language are as follows.
25. Posture, dress code, touch, handshake, hand gestures, eye contact, facial expression, orientation, proximity, scent, accessories.
26. Your "posture" relates to how you use your spine; don't slouch.
27. Sit up straight. Stand up straight.
28. Your "dress code"; dress in accordance with what will most likely produce a positive effect in the minds of your listeners.
29. "Touch" pertains to how much physical contact you make with others.
30. At work, don't be too touchy feely.
31. If you are perceived as too touchy feely then you will acquire a reputation that you don't want.
32. Handshakes are a most important part of your body language. Make your hand shake; brief firm and dry. Nobody wants one that is too long, limp and wet!
33. Gestures pertain to the use of your hands. Animate your hands and use them to support your message. But don't point at people. Don't point your finger; nor your pen; nor anything else.
34. "Eye contact" pertains to the intensity, duration and frequency of your gaze. Give sufficient eye contact to let them know you are listening. But don't glare at her. Neither should you evade her.
35. Facial expression is the most important part of your body language. There are 36 muscles in your face that you can use to express your emotions.
36. It is important for you to know when to express your emotions- and when not to. (Example; Don't smile or laugh when he is obviously trying his best to look impressive).
37. Orientation pertains to the angle at which you position yourself relative to the other person. Generally, the rule is this: unless you want to get serious with the other person, don't stand toe to toe with him-or her.
38. Don't stand- or sit - square on; instead position yourself at about 45 degrees to the other person.
39. Scent or odour. This is one to get right. Don't allow yourself to degenerate to the point that other people can smell your presence, from down the corridor.
40. Always take great pains to radiate an attractive odour - or none at all. 41. Don't overpower people with too much perfume. 42. Don't assault people with, what you might like to think is your "natural pheromones" (But what the rest of us call B.O.).
43. "Accessories" means the things you choose to use as props; i.e your watch; your phone; your car; your pen. Please don't overdose on ostentatiousness. Sometimes less is more.
44. Allow your good taste to be communicated by a great selection, not a great accumulation of expensive looking accessories.
45. Logical speech is the method by which you should express what you believe to be true together with the reasons that support your view.
46. Rule one of logical speech: Never make arbitrary assertions.
47. An arbitrary assertion is a statement that something, X, is true, but with NO REASONING given to support it.
48. Here is an example of an arbitrary assertion that I heard last night on TV: Quote: "The belief that free market capitalism is superior to a planned economy is quite simply wrong." No reasons given. It was stated as an arbitrary assertion. And therefore, until this statement is attached to some reasoning, it should be accorded an intellectual weight of zero.
49. If you want others to take your message seriously, then always strive to ensure you can give at least two "reasons to believe" for each statement.
50. Rule two of logical speech: Assert the positive.
51. Concentrate your intellect on making "positive-affirmative statements". Don't waste too much time making "negation-denial statements".
52. A "negation-denial statement" tells people what does not exist and what you are not going to do. E.g. don't spend time discussing why you don't believe in Santa Clause and where you are not going on holiday). Instead use positive- affirmative statements.
53. An positive-affirmative statement tells people what does exist and what you are going to do about it.
54. Spend your time explaining what you DO believe in and where you ARE intending to be, this time next year.
55. "Emotional expression" is your ability to express what you feel and why.
56. Rule number one of emotional expression: Take total responsibility for how you feel.
57. Rule 2: You feel whatever you think about.
58. Since only you control what you think about, then you are responsible for how you feel.
59. Never claim nor blame; never say that the other people makes (i.e causes) you to feel angry; undermined, fearful or disheartened. This is both factually incorrect and a tactical error.
60. Only claim that other people "make you feel" the positive emotions. ("You make me feel motivated and inspired"). This is factually incorrect but it is tactically sound!
61. Telling people that they cause positive emotions will tend to build better relationships.
62. Telling other people that they are the ones responsible for your misery, anger, upset and general sense of doom, does NOT tend to build better relationships!
63. Rule three; you don't have to say it all.
64. Don't say the first thing that pops into your head.
65. Think about the consequences of your words before you say them.
66. Choose your words very carefully; as they hold the key to either your progression or your failure.
67. When writing; plan ahead what you are going to write before you start to write.
68. Don't write in order to think; Think in order to write.
69. When writing; use the ABC formula: Write in ways that are Accurate, Brief, Clear.
70. When you have said all that you wanted to say; stop.
For more information about communication skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website