Posted 21 January 2013 by Chris Farmer
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How can you improve your communication skills?
We define Communication as, "The transfer of information and emotion from one mind to another".
Many people ask me "How can I improve my communication skills?"
I reply to them "It is important to recognise that communication skills are not one thing; they are the sum of a multitude of subset skills."
What are the subset skills that go to make up "communication skills?"
There are many, but here is a list of the most important skills under the general heading of "improved communication":
- Thinking skills
- Listening skills
- Asking questions
- Listening to answers
- Judging the quality of answers
- Writing skills
- Reading skills
- Memory skills
Let us make some notes for each one:
Because thought precedes and controls all action, thought precedes and controls communication. Therefore, if you are to communicate clearly you must first learn to think clearly. You must develop your skills as a clear, logical and progressive thinker.
Make it a priority to study the nature of rational thought:
- Never guess.
- Never accept any claim without a reasonable argument or facts to support it.
- Develop a questioning mind.
- Develop rational, logical approach to all people and problems.
It is important to think clearly.
Because communication includes the act of receiving information, communication includes the act of listening with intent to understand.
- You don't have to like what you hear.
- You don't have to agree with what you hear.
- You don't have to act on what you hear.
But you should strive to understand what you hear and that requires that you listen carefully and mentally absorb what you hear.
Communication includes the act of transmitting your thoughts and information to other minds. Therefore communication necessitates the ability to speak clearly.
Many people do not speak clearly.
- Some are too hesitant.
- Some people mumble under their breath.
- Some are too loud.
- Some are too confused.
Practice the art of expressing your thoughts out loud.
Practice in the car when you are alone, and stuck in traffic.
- Practice your presentation.
- Memorise great speeches.
- Memorise new vocabulary.
Make your car a university on wheels.
Practice your oratory skills in the car.
Because perfect communication (the transfer of information and emotion from one mind to another) is not possible, communication necessitates the ability to ask intelligent questions.
Listening to answers
Communication can be defined as "the transfer of information and emotion from one mind to another" and therefore communication skills includes the ability to receive information; that means the ability to listen to others without prejudice and without unnecessary interruption.
Judging the quality of answers
Because some people are dishonest and some people are mistaken, it is important to be able to correctly assess the status of the information communicated to you from others; mentally you should categorise all information received from others into two major classes: reliable and not reliable.
- Not all information is reliable.
- Much of it is not reliable.
You need to be able to separate:
- Truth from falsehood.
- Fact from opinion.
- Honesty from dishonesty.
Not all communication is face to face. Some of your communication is in the written form. So you should learn to be able to express yourself in writing. Learn to write clearly and accurately with proper grammar and sentence construction.
Not all communication is face to face communication. Much of the information that comes to you comes in the form of the written word.
You need to read, and you may need to read a lot.
Learning to read well and quickly will improve your communication skills in multiple ways.
- Reading improves your knowledge base.
- Reading improves your vocabulary.
- Reading improves your exposure to creative ideas.
- Reading improves your powers of concentration.
- Reading is good for your communication skills.
So read for one hour every day.
Memory is the ability to encode information into the mind and then later, accurately retrieve the same information from the mind.
Memory is the master key to communication.
Memory is the master key to communication because......
- If you cannot remember what she said and.....
- If you cannot remember what you said and.........
- If you cannot remember what you were going to write..........
- If you cannot remember what was in the document you just read..........
Then your communication skills are floundering and you will fail.
Memory is the master key to communication
- Train your memory to remember more.
- Read books on memory training.
If you want to be a good communicator take each of these subsets and train yourself to improve in all of them.
Concentrate especially hard on those elements where you suspect that you may be deficient.
For more information about communication skills training visit the Corporate Coach Group website