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How to Improve Interpersonal Communications Skills

How to improve interpersonal communications skills

How to improve interpersonal communications skills

Here is an interesting question:

"What makes some people more effective communicators than others?"

Let us investigate!

Communication is defined as "the transfer of information and-or emotion".
Communication skills training is important because, in order to achieve your goals, you need to be able to effectively communicate your message.

You need to be able to effectively communicate your message because you need to gain the cooperation and agreement of those people that are necessary to your plans. If you cannot gain the necessary cooperation, then you won't be able to achieve your goals. If you cannot communicate effectively you are more likely to lose.

If you can communicate effectively, then you are more likely to win.

Some people do not communicate well.
Some people can't seem to find the right words and so, they don't say enough.
Others seem to say too much, and thus talk themselves into too many arguments and bad situations.
Some have good ideas that they can't explain.
Others have strong feelings that they can't express.

But the truth is; in order to achieve your goals, you would do well to master the art of self-expression and effective communication.

You need to be able to:

Explain your ideas.
Express how you feel; and why.
Handle difficult situations with greater calmness.

In addition you need to:

Communicate a positive mental attitude.
And you need to be able to listen well.
And you should be able to remember what you heard, (especially if it was their name).
And you should develop your ability to persuade and affect others with your words.
And you need to be able to manage your body language.
And you need to be more aware of your voice tones.
And you should be able to write well and express your thoughts coherently, in the written form.

All of these issues are subsumed under the heading effective communications 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.

You can see that communication skills are many in number.

They are not easy to learn. Where can you learn them?

Answer: You can study communication skills on our courses.

And you can learn communication skills anywhere.
You are surrounded by examples of both good and bad communication.
You are surrounded by information in the form of books, you-tubes and seminars.
If you decided to, you could start studying communication skills today simply by concentrating on trying to answer this question.

"What makes some people more effective communicators than others?"

Look for your own answers to the question and act on the answers.

Or, you could sign up for our communication skills training and learn some of the details of good communication skills.

To get you started, here are a few notes on each of the ten points we made, above:

1. How to better explain your ideas

Define your key words and phrases.

A definition is a statement of the key distinguishing characteristics that separate one thing from other similar things in the same class.

A definition has two steps:

  1. Give the class name and
  2. Give the distinguishing characteristics

For example:
If you wanted to explain what a "burglary" was you would take the two steps listed above.
The class name for burglary: a burglary is a crime.
The distinguishing characteristics of the crime of burglary: Where a person dishonestly enters a building with the intention to steal or commit damage.

Example 2:
If you wanted to explain what "oxygen" was, you would take the two steps:

The class name for oxygen: oxygen is an element.

The distinguishing characteristics: Oxygen is an element that is number 8 on the periodic chart of elements, meaning oxygen has 8 protons in its nucleus, and under normal conditions oxygen is a diatomic gas and it is the element responsible for combustion and for respiration in living things.

It is important to define all your key terms.

  • Give the Class name.
  • Give the "Unique distinguishing characteristics".

If you don't define your terms, then your message will be ill-defined. It may become so ill-defined that it becomes almost meaningless.

So, always give definitions of your key terms.

2. Express how you feel and why

Here is a general rule for you:

If you are feeling happy, then tell everyone and tell them too, the reasons why.

If you are feeling unhappy, don't tell everyone. Tell only those people that are involved in the solution. Don't broadcast your misery, your ill fortune, your defeats and setbacks to those who don't need to know them.

To do so is a bad practice.

I will leave it to you to list the reasons why it is bad practice.

3. Handle difficult situations with greater calmness

When in conflict situations use only objective, factual, non-emotionalised, accurate language.

When in conflict situations DON'T use subjective, opinionated, emotionalised, accusative language.

I will leave it to you to ponder why that is very good advice.

4. Communicate a positive mental attitude

A positive mental attitude is one that presupposes that the future will be better than the past.
Strive to communicate that message; and attach to it all the evidence you can find to support that view.
Strive not to communicate that the future will be worse than the past.
Project a sense of rational optimism based on a positive assessment of the available evidence.
I will leave it to you to ponder why that is good advice.

5. You need to be able to listen well

Listen to the message and focus your mind on trying to understand the other.
You don't have to like what the other person says.
You don't have to agree with what the other person says.
But you should try to understand what he says and why he is saying it.
I will leave it to you to ponder why.

6. You should be able to remember what you heard, (especially if it was their name)

As you are listening, try to picture in your mind's eye, their message.
As you mentally picture their message try to really see it, clearly and distinctly.
This act of visualisation will help you to remember the message.
It is very important to be able to remember most of what you heard or read.

I will leave you to ponder why.

7. You should develop your ability to persuade and affect others with your words

Most people are strongly motivated by their self-interest. Therefore you should strive to present your ideas as a means of helping the other person either:

  1. To gain a pleasure or benefit
  2. To avoid a painful consequence

If they have no personal motive to help, then they won't be so motivated to help.
If you can provide a clear personal motive, then they will be more motivated to help you.

Don't ask people to help you unless you can offer them the promise of some form of benefit.
Always try to link a benefit to the request for assistance or help.
I will leave you to ponder why.

8. And you need to be able to manage your body language

People judge you partially on the way you look. So give careful consideration to your body language and dress.

How should you stand or sit?
How should you dress?
How much eye contact should you give?
How should you use your hands?
How much should you smile?
It is important to look right.
I will leave you to ponder why.

9. You need to be aware of your voice tones.

In addition, people judge you partially on how you sound.
Generally use a slower and deeper end of your voice range.
Generally; don't be a fast talker.
And don't use a high pitched, shrill, squeaky voice tone.
Use the slower, deeper end of your voice range.
I will leave you to ponder why.

10. Learn to express your thoughts in the written form

We live in the information age. You need to transpose thoughts into the written word.
For e mails. For proposals and for documents.
Therefore it would pay you to learn a little about grammar, punctuation and how to impose a logical structure onto your writing.
Don't allow your writing to degenerate into a mere dumping of random ideas onto a page.

Impose order.

Don't be a chaotic writer.

I will leave you to ponder........

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

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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