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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 Communicate Effectively
    How to Communicate Effectively In order to do well, you will need the cooperation of others. You will need to gain the cooperation of many people, including: Your partner Your bank Your customers Your suppliers Your colleagues at work Failure to gain their cooperation will mean either: They won't help you...
    Read Article >
  • Six Top Tips to Improve Your Communication
    Don't be misunderstood! Make it your mission today to improve your communication skills with your colleagues and friends. Here are our top tips to help you achieve this.
    Read Article >
  • Four Steps to Improve Your Communication Skills
    The ability to communicate well is a vital life skill. In business, being able to communicate your goals to others, clearly, logically and specifically is vital if you are are to succeed.
    Read Article >
  • Success Through Communication
    The ability to communicate ideas to the rest of your team, is a vital skill for your organisation's success.
    Read Article >
  • Communication Skills Training: Objective and Subjective Language
    Objective and Subjective Language It is important to distinguish between two kinds of language: Objective language and subjective language. Every day you experience your "personal experience". You have to experience YOUR experience of an event. But isn't it true that YOUR experience of an event, may be very different to the...
    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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