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What are Good Communication Skills?

What are good communication skills?

What are good communication skills?

Communication may be defined as "the accurate transfer of information and / or emotion from one mind to another".

Good communication skills are defined as those techniques that allow for accurate transfer of information.

Communication skills fall into three main categories:

  1. Linguistic (speaking and writing).
  2. Voice tonality.
  3. Body language and appearance.

This blog focuses on speaking and writing skills.

In any communication there is always the risk of misunderstanding between the transmitter of the message and the receiver. This misunderstanding may be due to a variety of factors.

1. Avoid the use of ambiguous language

Ambiguous language is where words that may be interpreted in more than one way. An example of an ambiguous phrase is, "as soon as possible" or "ASAP".

Where the transmitter intends a particular word to be interpreted one way, yet the receiver interprets the same word in a different way, a misunderstanding occurs.

The communication skill is to minimise the risk of misinterpretation, by always defining any ambiguous term.

2. Do not assume prior knowledge

The transmitter may assume too much prior knowledge in the mind of the reader, and thus relies on an intellectual context that is not present. The transmitter therefore leaves more questions than answers in the mind of the receiver, leaving the receiver confused and slightly depressed at their lack of understanding.

The communication skill to master is to write according to your prospective readers knowledge base, not your own.

3. Don't overwhelm with too much information

The transmitter may overload the receiver, by providing too much information too quickly. It is essential to bear in mind that the human mind is limited in its ability to process information. Most people can retain only approximately seven pieces of information in their short-term memory, before the memory is full and the person suffers cognitive overload. The transmitter unwittingly violates the rules of epistemology and exceeds the capacity of the receiver's short-term memory to process information.

The communication skill to master is: Don't overload the reader with too much information in any one sentence.

Reduce the load on the readers short term memory.

Three communication skills for you to master.

1. To minimise the risk of misinterpretation, always define any ambiguous term. (Further reading: How language causes confusion)

2. Use your readers knowledge-base as your frame of reference.

3. Don't overwhelm people with too much information. Reduce the load on their short term memory.

Communication Skills Quiz

How would you rate your communication skills? Try our fun communication quiz and see where your strengths lie.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

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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Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

  • How to Ask the Right Questions - Good communication skills
    Good communication is not only about the proper presentation of ideas, it is also means developing the ability to ask the right questions.
    Read Article >
  • How to Start a Presentation
    The start of your presentation sets the terms for the rest of the performance. If you start well, then you will probably succeed. Here are some useful tips for getting your presentation off to a good start.
    Read Article >
  • Improving Communication in the Workplace
    Managers are the key to successful communication and motivation in the workplace. They must ensure they give proper praise and appreciation, when due. And,if criticism is necessary, then it is vital that this is delivered in a constructive manner.
    Read Article >
  • How Language Causes Confusion
    Ambiguity in business can be damaging both for your reputation and your finances. To avoid potential confusion when communicating with colleagues and customers, take a look at these five ways where ambiguous language should be avoided.
    Read Article >
  • How to be a good conversationalist
    Conversational skills are essential both in business and socially, so here are some top tips to becoming a good conversationalist.
    Read Article >

Looking for Communication Skills Training?

If you're looking to develop your Clear Communication Skills, you may find this Communication Skills Training Course beneficial:

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19 October
Manchester
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31 October
London - Central
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3 November
Online - Teams
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Birmingham M6 J7
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