2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Effective communication is a key interpersonal
skill and learning how we can improve
our communication has many benefits.
Communication is a two way process, so
improving communication involves both how
we send and receive messages.
Being a good listener is one
of the best ways to be a good
communicator. No one likes
someone who only cares
about putting in her two
cents, and does not take the
time to listen to the other
person. If you're not a good
listener, it's going to be hard
to comprehend what you're
being asked to do.
5. Your body language, eye
contact, hand gestures,
and tone all color the
message you are trying
to convey. A relaxed,
open stance (arms open,
legs relaxed), and a
friendly tone will make
approachable, and will
encourage others to
speak openly with you.
6. Good communication means saying
just enough - don't say too little or talk
too much. Try to convey your
message in as few words as possible.
Say what you want clearly and
directly, whether you're speaking to
someone in person, on the phone, or
via email. If you ramble on, your
listener will either tune you out or will
be unsure of exactly what you want.
Think about what you want to say
before you say it; this will help you to
avoid talking excessively and/or
confusing your audience.
7. Through a friendly tone, a personal
question, or simply a smile, you will
encourage your coworkers to engage
in open and honest communication
with you. It's important to be nice and
polite in all your workplace
communications. This is important in
both face-to-face and written
communication. When you can,
personalize your emails to coworkers
and/or employees - a quick "I hope
you all had a good weekend" at the
start of an email can personalize a
message and make the recipient feel
8. It is important to be confident in all
of your interactions with others.
Confidence ensures your
coworkers that you believe in and
will follow through with what you
are saying. Exuding confidence can
be as simple as making eye contact
or using a firm but friendly tone
(avoid making statements sound
like questions). Of course, be
careful not to sound arrogant or
9. Even when you disagree
with an employer,
coworker, or employee, it
is important for you to
understand and respect
their point of view. Using
phrases as simple as "I
understand where you are
demonstrate that you
have been listening to the
other person and respect
10. A good communicator
should enter any
conversation with a flexible,
open mind. Be open to
listening to and
understanding the other
person's point of view,
rather than simply getting
your message across. By
being willing to enter into a
dialogue, even with people
with whom you disagree,
you will be able to have
more honest, productive
People will be more open to
communicating with you if you
convey respect for them and their
ideas. Simple actions like using a
person's name, making eye
contact, and actively listening
when a person speaks will make
the person feel appreciated. On
the phone, avoid distractions and
stay focused on the conversation.
12. Being able to appropriately give and
receive feedback is an important
communication skill. Managers and
supervisors should continuously look
for ways to provide employees with
constructive feedback, be it through
email, phone calls, or weekly status
updates. Giving feedback involves
giving praise as well - something as
simple as saying "good job" or "thanks
for taking care of that" to an employee
can greatly increase motivation.
13. An important
is to simply know
what form of
use. For example,
(layoffs, changes in
salary, etc.) are
almost always best
done in person.
15. Effective communication starts with a clear
message. Contrast these two
"Please be here about 7:00 tomorrow morning."
"Please be here at 7:00 tomorrow morning."
The one word difference makes the first
message muddled and the second
16. is a barrier to communication when it causes
people to act as if they already know the
message that is coming from the sender or
worse, as if no message is necessary
because "everybody already knows."
17. Variation of channels helps the receiver understand the
nature and importance of a message. Using a training
video on cleaning practices helps new employees grasp
the importance placed on herd health. A written
disciplinary warning for tardiness emphasizes to the
employee that the problem is serious. A birthday card
to an employee's spouse is more sincere than a request
to the employee to say "Happy Birthday" to the spouse.
19. Feedback is the mirror of communication.
Feedback mirrors what the sender has sent.
Feedback is the receiver sending back to
the sender the message as perceived.
Without feedback, communication is one-
20. Listening is difficult. A typical speaker says about
125 words per minute. The typical listener can
receive 400-600 words per minute. Thus, about
75 percent of listening time is free time. The free
time often sidetracks the listener. The solution is
to be an active rather than passive listener.
21. The interruptions may be due to
something more pressing, rudeness, lack
of privacy for discussion, a drop-in
visitor, an emergency, or even the
curiosity of someone else wanting to
know what two other people are saying.
22. are the physical things that get in the
way of communication. Examples of
such things include the telephone, a
pick-up truck door, a desk, an
uncomfortable meeting place, and
23. • Physical disabilities such as hearing problems
or speech difficulties.
• Language differences and the difficulty in
understanding unfamiliar accents.
• Emotional barriers and taboos. Some people
may find it difficult to express their emotions
and some topics may be completely 'off-limits'
25. Stop. Focus on the other person, their thoughts and feelings. Consciously
focus on quieting your own internal commentary, and step away from your
own concerns to think about those of the speaker. Give your full attention to
Look. Pay attention to non-verbal messages, without letting yourself be
distracted. Notice body language and non-verbal cues to allow for a richer
understanding of the speaker’s point. However, avoid getting distracted from
the verbal message.
Listen. Listen for the essence of the speaker’s thoughts: details, major
ideas and their meanings. Seek an overall understanding of what the speaker
is trying to communicate, rather than reacting to the individual words or
terms that they use to express themselves.
26. Be empathetic. Imagine how you would feel in their
circumstances. Be empathetic to the feelings of the
speaker, while maintaining a calm center within yourself.
You need not be drawn into all of their problems or
issues, as long as you acknowledge what they are
Ask questions. Use questions to clarify your
understanding, as well as to demonstrate interest in what
is being said.
27. Analyze your own perceptions. Question your perceptions, and think about how
they are formed. Check in with others around you regularly, and be aware of
assumptions that you are making. Seek additional information and observations.
You may just need to ask people if your perceptions are accurate.
Work on improving your perception. Increase your awareness of barriers to
perception, and which ones you tend towards. Check in with yourself regularly.
Seek honest, constructive feedback from others regarding their perceptions of you
as a means of increasing your self-awareness.
Focus on others. Develop your ability to focus on other people, and understand
them better by trying to gather knowledge about them, listening to them actively,
and imagining how you would feel in their situation.
28. Focus on the issue, not the person. Try not to take everything
personally, and similarly, express your own needs and opinions in terms of
the job at hand. Solve problems rather than attempt to control others. For
example, rather than criticizing a co-worker’s personality, express your
concerns in terms of how to get the job done more smoothly in the future.
Be genuine rather than manipulative. Be yourself, honestly and
openly. Be honest with yourself, and focus on working well with the people
around you, and acting with integrity.
29. Empathize rather than remain detached. Although professional
relationships entail some boundaries when it comes to interaction with
colleagues, it is important to demonstrate sensitivity, and to really care
about the people you work with. If you don’t care about them, it will be
difficult for them to care about you when it comes to working together.
Be flexible towards others. Allow for other points of view, and be
open to other ways of doing things. Diversity brings creativity and
30. Value yourself and your own experiences. Be firm about your own rights
and needs. Undervaluing yourself encourages others to undervalue you, too. Offer
your ideas and expect to be treated well.
Present yourself as an equal rather than a superior. Even when you are in
a position of authority, focus on what you and the other person each have to offer
and contribute to the job or issue.
Use affirming responses. Respond to other in ways that acknowledge their
experiences. Thank them for their input. Affirm their right to their feelings, even if
you disagree. Ask questions, express positive feeling; and provide positive
feedback when you can.
32. Say stop to your inner
Use healthier motivation habits.
Write down 3 things in the evening that you can appreciate about
Do the right thing.
Replace the perfectionism.
Be kinder towards other people.
Try something new.
Stop falling into the comparison trap.
Spend more time with supportive people (and less time with destructive peop
Remember the whys of high self-esteem.
34. Always act with a purpose.
Stretch yourself past your limits every day.
Take action without expecting results.
Use setbacks to improve your skills.
Seek out those who share your positive attitude.
Don't take yourself so seriously.
Forgive the limitations of others.
Say "thank you" more frequently.