What is communication?
Communication is how we express our thoughts and connect with others. It’s importance can not be overemphasized as it plays a significant role in both our professional lives and social gathering to everything in between. Communication is considered a two way process whereby information exchanged from a sender is well understood by the receiver as intended by the sender.
Although, not a lot of people possess the skills of effective communication as quite a large number of people struggle to convey their message clearly as not everyone is born with that special gift! But, here is the good news; communication is a skill that can be learnt through practice! Oh yes, you can get better when you practice effective communication consistently.
Communication is considered one of the most important parts of interpersonal skills. And in this article we will be looking at the three main types of communication skills and tips on how to improve.
Types of communication skills:
- Verbal or spoken. Verbal communication is oral. This is when words are used to convey a message .Example of this mode of communication is face to face conversation, over the phone, on television or other media.
- Non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is perceived as the message received as a result of one’s body language . Messages may be passed across by the sender through body postures, nods, tone of voice, facial expression or even hand gestures . Oftentimes than not, the message perceived may not be the intended . However, the fact remains that a message has been conveyed and received .
- Written. Written communication involves a mode of interaction that requires a message being conveyed in written form mostly includes emails, chat messages, social media, books etc. In today’s era we can all publish our thoughts on our social networks which can lead to an explosion of information.
Five ways to becoming an effective communicator in all three types of communication:
Practice they say makes perfect, the key to become better in communication is how you approach your interactions. Here are some strategic tips for building effective communication skills.
- Become an active listener: To effectively communicate verbally, you have to learn to listen while the other person is talking with the aim of comprehending or understanding the message being conveyed by the speaker . However, It’s easy to get distracted by your own thoughts or what’s happening around you, but paying attention can help you understand the main point or phrase of the conversation. Most Importantly, you have to wait till the speaker finishes talking before responding to them as it is a way of showing respect.
- Need clarity? Ask Questions: It’s okay to ask questions to eliminate ambiguity or assumptions. Seeking clarification aids in simplifying the communication process and removing prejudice. Asking questions helps provide continuous engagement between the speaker and listener.
- Effectively communicate non-verbally : It’s essential to note that non verbal communication is a very strong mode of communication and must be presented in a manner that conveys one intended message. Moderating the tone of voice, watching your hand gestures and good eye contact can either make or mar a deal .Understanding body language as a communication tool will need its own piece .
- Keep it short and sweet: We are all exposed to alot of information daily, either from phones, friends or other media. So, one of the best ways to achieve clarity is to be concise. Focus on the main message you want to convey and get rid of unnecessary information filler to avoid disconnection from your listener or reader. This works both for verbal and written forms of communication.
- Practice public speaking: A lot of people have a phobia for Public speaking. Most times, the fear of making mistakes in front of many people hinders us from sharing our thoughts or knowledge. It may sound intimidating, but is a highly recommended way to develop good communication skills.
To begin, you may seek public speaking opportunities from small groups, offices or even religious associations. Great communicators have been able to clearly express their thoughts, whether they’re speaking to a large group, talking face-to-face to one other person or over the phone. This engagement will magnify your strengths and weaknesses and force you to develop great communication habits.
Becoming an effective communicator with enhanced communication skills is an evolving process. Practice is the word. Keep learning and all the best as you achieve this feat!