Saturday, July 20, 2019

Communication Skills

If you have excellent communication skills, then you can let others know precisely what you need to let them know. You can't always be liable for the other person getting that information.  After all, they may not want to try to hear it, or they may be unable to understand.

However, provided they are willing to listen and have the ability to understand, then there is nothing magic about the knowledge, it is called communication skills. Because this ability is made up of experiences and skills - something you can do and something you can learn to become better.

What are excellent communication skills? There are several, and the most important ones are listening and receiving! Yes, the most critical communication skill is not how you speak. Nor is it articulating, or focusing on your message. The essential craft of all is listening to another person.

You may ask how this can be. How can a teacher, a parent, a salesperson, a boss, or acquaintance be expected to get their words across by listening to the other person?

It's because nobody wants to hear what you have to say unless they believe that you will also accept what they wish to reply. Moreover, to do that, you may have to listen first - before trying to get your message across.

Listening is not just staying silent! Staying silent can come across as ignoring the speaker. To count as listening to someone, you have to look at them and concentrate on monitoring and no interrupting.

There are some exceptional skills you can also practice when trying to show someone that you are listening to them. It would be best if you have a "listening approach", this means that you are facing the person, nodding as they are speaking, using little  "filler" sounds, such as "hmm", "yes", "I see" and so forth, while they are speaking and occasionally repeating back to them what they have said.

Listening is not just parroting what they said, but understanding what you hear. It's a harsh lesson to learn.

I used to think that anything I had to say was the most crucial thing in the world. I had all the solutions. If only "people" would listen to me! "People," being anyone - my brothers and sisters, children, colleagues, bosses, friends, and others.

That was until I discovered that most people believe that what they have to say is significant.  Many people knew what they needed to do, and they didn't need my advice, they probably just needed some help to work it out for themselves. That was overwhelming! They didn't need my facts - well, at least not literally. However, they did want me to listen. Also, that was a hard lesson to learn.

Furthermore, communicating does not mean just shouting louder than the other person, to try to force them to hear from you.

How can you improve your communication skills? Practice listening. No one will listen to what you want to say unless you are also a good listener. Look - Listen - Don't interrupt. If you can already do that, then practice the advanced listening skills, of nodding, using "filler" sounds and paraphrasing what they just said.

You will be in a better position to use excellent selling skills, good parenting skills, and ethical leadership skills to communicate your wants and needs.