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Six Ways to Improve your Communication Skills

Good Communication Skills

Communications skills training is important to you because you don't live on a desert island. You live and work around other people; other people are at the same time:

  1. The cause of all your problems
  2. The solution to all your problems

So you need to get on well with others. "Well" means "harmoniously, happily and productively".

Some people don't get on well with others: They live in-harmoniously, unhappily and destructively.

Note: It is an interesting fact that 52% of male offenders 72% of female prisoners in UK have significantly limited vocabularies and poor literacy skills (at or below level 1)

Improved Communication skills are vital at work and in life.


Other people are at the same time:

  1. The cause of your problems
  2. The solution to your problems

IF you are to achieve your goals of being happier and more successful, then you will need to get the best from other people and that requires that you improve your abilities to communicate well.

What is communication?

Communication can be defined as "The transfer of information and emotion between one mind and another".

What is GOOD communication?

Good communication can be defined as" "The CLEAR AND ACCURATE transfer of information and emotion between one mind and another".

Communication should be split into categories:

  1. Giving information
  2. Receiving information

Giving information

This entails speaking (or writing) to transmit information.

There are five parts to this process: You need to be able to explain:

  1. What the point of your message is
  2. How you know it is true
  3. What it means
  4. What to do about it
  5. and to explain how you feel

To receive information

This entails speaking (or writing) to gain information from another.

There are the same five subsets in this section: To gain knowledge you must find out

  1. What the point of their message is
  2. How does he -she knows it is true?
  3. What does that mean, (implications)?
  4. What needs to be done about it?
  5. And on the level of emotions: How do you feel?

SIX ways to improve your communication skills

Whenever you are speaking or writing, to give information, try to do the following:

  1. Try to give exact meanings to words
  2. Give "reasons to believe"
  3. Interpret the facts and state their meaning

To explain:

1. Try to give exact meanings to words

Wherever possible, use a more specific word rather than a vague word:

For example: say Ford focus rather than the car.

Say I want "a banana" rather than "some fruit"
Say "I want you to bring the blue lap top" rather than "the lap top"

As a general rule, always try to answer the questions: "Which one? How many? And What kind?"

One more example: Rather than "Can you deliver to her, some flowers"

Say "Can you please deliver twelve red roses to her by four o clock tomorrow."

2. Give "reasons to believe"

If you give an opinion always give at least one "reason to believe" that your opinion is correct.

Example: consider the following: "I believe that inflation will increase this year (your opinion) because over the last year, 2010, the government has been printing billions of pounds of currency" (the reason to believe it is true).

I believe it will rain later (opinion) because the clouds look grey and heavy (Reason to believe).

Failure to give Reasons to believe will make what you say less compelling, persuasive or memorable. Remember that an intelligent listener needs to hear the reasons to believe.

3. Interpret the facts and state their meaning Having the facts is not enough: you need to be able to interpret them and decide what action best follows. The world is full of people with knowledge. But it is not full with people who know what to do! Always try to figure out what the facts mean, in terms of Implications to action. Example: New Zealand is the opposite side of the globe to UK (fact): that means: New Zealand is too far to go for a five-day holiday (interpretation). The price of houses is falling (fact) Now maybe a good time to invest in one (interpretation).

Part two:

When listening

When listening (or trying to gain information) apply the same three principles: but in the reverse direction:

1. Ask the other for more exact meanings to words

As a general rule, always try to ask the same questions as we mentioned before: Ask the other: "Which one, how many? and what kind?"

2. Ask for their Reasons to believe

When you are listening, try to gain from the other person his- her "reasons to believe".
Without being rude, you are asking the question "Why should I believe that?"

If the person does not offer any cogent "reasons to believe" then either:

  1. suspend judgement, or
  2. Label the other person's content as "arbitrary waffle"
  3. Ask the person for their intelligent interpretation of the facts:

Ask them to state the "implications to action"

This stage amounts to asking "So what?" "What does this have to do with anything?" Do this, but do it politely and with keen honest interest. For more information about management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website.

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