This article throws light upon the top three types of communication skill. The types are: 1. Writing Skills 2. Speaking Skills 3. Listening Skills.
Communication Skill: Type # 1. Writing Skills:
John Fielden suggests that the writing style should be apt to the situation and the effect the writer wants to achieve. Writing is more formal than talking. When we write, we have to search for the right words to describe what we mean, put them down in a proper order as to make some sense.
For good writing, we must follow these rules, which can be applied for writing a good letter, memo or report: decide the purpose of writing; keep it as brief as possible, say exactly what we mean; make our point in the first paragraph; arouse the reader’s interest; and last but not least, keep the reader in mind while writing.
Many people seem to think that good writing has to include lot of jargon. That isn’t necessary. We should always use small, simple words and a direct way to say what we have to say. In trying to impress people with difficult words, we will confuse them. We should also avoid complex sentences and phrases. We should always bear in mind that we are writing to express and not to impress in business writing.
Our writing should contain precise words, and vagueness should be avoided. Cliches have become stale expressions they should be avoided and used only where necessary. Jargons should be used appropriately. We should get rid of unnecessary prepositions, adjectives and adverbs.
We should let the nouns stand alone and use adjectives only to make the meanings, more precise. For example, there can be ‘acute shortage’ and ‘economic crisis’ and not ‘acute crisis’.
Communication Skill: Type # 2. Speaking Skills:
Speaking and listening are the communication skills used most. Effective communication cannot be one-sided. To persuade, inform or change the listener, both the speaker and the listener must be actively involved.
The ability to speak well is closely related to success. Speaking is one of the most visible skills, and our ability to give a professional talk to a group gives us respect far beyond the importance of the points we make in our speech.
Effective speaking, a must for executives, is mental contribution through spoken words, but the real challenge is to get the people to listen by making them actively want to listen. Talking things over helps people in an organization build morale and establish a group identity. The language used while speaking should be simple and clear.
When speaking, we should remember certain points, such as the nature of the person, the purpose of speaking and the best method to put forth the subject. Different situations call for different speaking styles. When speaking to superiors, we should be honest, concise and provide accurate information.
If we mislead our superiors, it can be counter-productive. We should never give the impression that we are wasting their time unnecessarily. While communicating with colleagues, we should be careful to put points in the correct perspective and be honorable. When dealing with subordinates, we have an obligation to be honest. We should show concern for their problems and show appreciation of work where it is due.
Speaking in public involves pre-planning of various aspects. Foremost is the language used in speech. Language builds instant understanding if it’s used appropriately. The words chosen for the speech have a bearing. We should never use unfamiliar synonyms. We should edit our words and challenge ourselves to find ways to explain what we know very well so that others can get it.
Communication Skill: Type # 3. Listening Skills:
The ability to listen is a vital skill in business. An individual with good listening ability is more likely to succeed in his career. Good listening enhances performance, status and power. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t good listeners. To some extent, our listening problems stem from our education or lack of it. Employees who don’t listen properly pose obvious problems for organizations.
To be a good listener, we should vary the way we listen to suit various situations. Effective listening involves being receptive to both information and feeling. The manager, who listens effectively, responds positively and encourages subordinates to think independently and creates an atmosphere that fosters creativity.
We should always listen without interruption until the other person feels we have heard the whole story. Our people are our greatest resource. Pay them the ultimate compliment. Listen.
Various situations call for different listening skills. Improving our listening habits will help us handle difficult situations.
To improve listening skills, it is beneficial to remember the following steps:
i. Practice listening skills by attending lectures and other sessions
ii. Be receptive to ideas and facts and know the difference between them
iii. Keep the mind open by asking questions; make meaningful, but concise notes
iv. Use non-verbal skills which will help us focus our attention on the speaker’s body language, maintain eye contact and react responsively and
v. Fight distraction.
Oral communication has its disadvantages. The spontaneous method of oral communication limits our ability to edit our thoughts. We have far less opportunity to revise our spoken words than our written words. Another problem is that oral communication is personal. People tend to confuse our message with us as an individual. They judge the substance of a remark by the speaker’s style.