Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

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.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

  • 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 >
  • Better Work Relationships
    Developing your ability to create and maintain excellent relationships will help you enjoy more success in every aspect of your life.
    Read Article >
  • Improved communication skills
    Improved communication skills Communication is one of your most important attributes. You cannot do the work, all by yourself: so you must gain the cooperation of others. In order to do that, you must communicate effectively. In order to do that: you should study and improve your communication skills! You should...
    Read Article >
  • Learn to Spot Logical Lies
    Learn to Spot Logical Lies It is important to be able to spot logical lies. Logical lies are the logical fallacies. The logical fallacies the common errors in logic. Everyday, people commit logical fallacies in order to purposely mislead others, or simply as a mental mistake. Facts are facts. So there...
    Read Article >
  • How to communicate with more intelligence
    How to communicate with more intelligence Nobody wants to be regarded as stupid. We all want to be judged as intelligent. Let us define intelligence as "A capacity to think clearly and accurately in order to be able to solve problems and arrive at correct conclusions". In terms of survival value...
    Read Article >