Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Importance of Effective Communication Skills

-Desh Raj Sirswal

Communication skills are the ability to use language and express information. It is a process of transforming information from one entity to another. Communication is commonly defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. While interviewing candidates, most interviewers judge them on the basis of the way they communicate. They believe that skills can be improvised on the job; but ability to communicate well is important, as every employee becomes the representing face of the company. While defining communication skills we can say, “Communication skills are the set of skills that enables a person to convey information so that it is received and understood. Communication skills refer to the repertoire of behaviors that serve to convey information for the individual.”
Positive Attitude:
Identification is one of the key ingredients of effective communication. In fact, unless your listeners can identify with what you are saying and with the way you are saying it, they are not likely to receive and understand your message.
Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation; but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech. Here are proverbs for worth consideration:
Many feel that this skill does not need any training, as every individual is able to communicate. Yes, every individual can communicate, but the problem is that every individual cannot effectively communicate.
“When we speak (or listen), our attention is focused on words rather than body language. But our judgement includes both. An audience is simultaneously processing both verbal and nonverbal cues. Body movements are not usually positive or negative in and of themselves; rather, the situation and the message will determine the appraisal.”
Those who do not have appropriate communication skills are usually ignored or simply kept at bay. Where are those with good communication skills are looked upon and well respected. After all a good listener and a good orator are popular in their groups - professional and personal.
It is basically two-way street, which entails the relation between the sender and the sender and the receiver. In this process, a cycle of communicating messages is formed between the sender and receiver. There are some barriers that occur while listening, speaking to avoid these barriers. One needs to overcome all language related barriers by first seeking how to learn English speaking. This is essential, because most people find it difficult to convey their thoughts, because of a strong influence of their national language, regional language and mother tongue.
Effective Communication Techniques:
I found a very interesting article on the effective communication skill techniques; I am using this article as a whole to introduce the reader. The link is given below in the suggested reading section. Read and follow the following tips:
Listen Actively
Be attentive - concentrate on what is being said.
Be impartial – don’t form an opinion, just listen.
Reflect back - restating what has been said helps the speaker know that you understand.
Summarize - pull together the important messages so that you and the speaker recognize what was important during the conversation.
Nonverbal Message
Posture - let your body show that you are interested by sitting up and leaning toward the speaker.
Equal positioning - if the speaker is standing, you stand. If the speaker is sitting, you sit as well.
Facial expression - remember that feelings are reflected in facial expressions.
Gestures - your body language reveals a lot about how you interpret a message, so be aware of when you send signals that might cause the speaker to believe that you are angry, in a hurry, bored, etc.
Express Thoughts and Feelings
Be open and honest - collaboration between parents and professionals begins with the understanding that you trust each other with all information.
Speak clearly - don't mumble and don't talk too quietly. If you don't know the word for something, describe what you mean so that you and the speaker can have a shared understanding of your concern or question.
Communicate Without Being Adversarial
Express concerns non-judgmentally - talk about your questions or concerns without blaming other people. For example, you might be angry that your child is not receiving enough speech therapy. Rather than talk about the speech therapist not doing his/her job, discuss your idea of how often your child should receive this service.
Use “I” messages. Rather than say, “You didn't explain that very well”, say, “I didn't understand what you just said. Please explain it again.”
Now we are going to end up this discussion by summing up every individual needs to be well equipped with the tools to communicate effectively, whether it is on the personal; front, or at work. One can refer to the various English speaking books that will help them improve and also to overcome one can attend English speaking classes. Effective skills in communication calls for awareness and attentive listening.
Suggested Books:
Throughout the internet you can find so many courses or links on effective communication skills, except this there are some print books also available, the selected list is given below:

1. J.Sethi, K. Sadananda & D.V. Jindal: A Practical Course in English Pronunciation.

2. A.C. Gimson : An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English.

3. T.Balasubraminaian: A Textbook of English Phonetics for Indian Students.

4. Leela Sen: Communication Skills.

5. Sethi & Jindal : Handbook of Standard English and Indian Usages: A Vocabulary and Grammar.

6. Sethi & Dhamija: Spoken English.

7. “Effective Communication Techniques” from the Resource Manual for Families of Children with Special Needs, West Virginia University, cited on 10-08-2009.

8. English as a Second Language:

9. Earthling Communication:

10. Mind Tools: