Communication is a vital aspect of our daily lives; it helps us to express our thoughts and feelings to one another. Likewise, effective communication is needed to relate and work with people towards achieving a task, goal, or vision. This is why effective communication is an essential skill to develop.
If you find yourself lacking this skill either as a regular individual, employee, leader, or business owner, stay with us as we explore what you must do to develop this valuable skill.
First, let’s explore what communication means.
Meaning Of Communication? – How to Develop Communication Skills
Communication is the act or process of sharing information, expressing feelings or thoughts, and conveying or imparting knowledge or ideas.
You’re communicating when you share information, express your feelings and thoughts, or convey knowledge and ideas.
Now there are different ways or methods of communication.
Each type or method is unique to the kind of message you want to pass across.
Let’s discover the different ways.
Methods of Communication – How to Develop Communication Skills
As said earlier, there are different methods of passing across information or expressing our feelings or thoughts.
This is the most common form of communication.
Every time you speak to other people, you use this method of communication.
This occurs when you speak to a person one-on-one, speak over the phone, or speak via Zoom or Skype.
The verbal method of communication is applicable in formal and informal discussions.
When you are chatting with family or friends, it is informal.
At a meeting or presentation, it is formal.
Overall, if you are speaking in either a formal or informal context, you are using the verbal mode of communication.
Non-Verbal Method – How to Develop Communication Skills
This method is also commonly used by people.
You use the non-verbal method of communication when you use posture, facial expressions, hand movement, touch, and eye contact instead of spoken words to communicate.
It is good to notice people’s body language when they’re talking to you and when they are not.
This way, you will notice things about them that their words are not saying.
Everybody uses body language, so do not see it as something that occurs in an informal setting.
For example, your clients can use body language when they are not pleased about a job.
Hence, ensure that you watch peoples’ body language at all times.
This method involves writing.
People use this method when communicating through emails, memos, reports, posts, and tweets on social media.
When using this communication method, you have to ensure that it is concise and clear.
This is one method that makes people confused when not properly written.
Once the damage is done, it isn’t easy to rectify.
Therefore, before send out a written message, make sure to proofread everything you write.
Visual Method – How to Develop Communication Skills
We live in a visual world where television stations run all day, and social media have memes, images, and videos, and so on.
This serves as another method of communication.
You watch and post videos, images, or memes on different social media platforms that communicate messages.
An average person watches television and uses social media every day, thereby sending and receiving information.
In conclusion, despite the different methods of communication, they all point towards one goal: passing a message across.
Now, to communicate effectively, you need some set of skills.
Let’s consider what these skills are.
10 Effective Communication Skills – How to Develop Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential if you want to be capable of communicating effectively and adequately.
These skills help people in understanding themselves and others.
For most people, the ability to communicate effectively does not come naturally.
However, it can be developed.
Hence, here are ten effective communication skills you need to develop
This skill helps build an understanding and trust between you and whosoever you are communicating with.
It shows kindness and honesty in its highest form.
When you are communicating, ensure that you are open and positive-minded.
Show that you care for the person you communicate with by smiling or offering praise when they deserve it.
This will help grow a positive relationship between you and the people you are communicating with.
Clarity and Audibility – How to Develop Communication Skills
This skill ensures that there’s no confusion or misinterpretation in your message.
Whenever you are speaking, make sure your voice is audible and clear.
You should be able to adjust your voice so that it can be heard.
Ensure that it is balanced, not too loud, and not too low.
Avoid speaking too loud so as not to disrespect your listener and not make things awkward for you.
This is a skill that helps you not only in understanding your listener’s emotion but also in sharing it.
With this skill, you will know the correct response to give to your listener in a specific situation because you understand and feel their emotion to a degree.
When you know the right response at all times, you are on the right path to effective communication.
Conscious Listening – How to Develop Communication Skills
This means paying good attention to the person you are communicating with.
The way to do this is by engaging them, rephrasing their words, and asking questions.
Conscious listening helps foster a good relationship between you and the person you are communicating with.
When communicating, focus on the person speaking, avoid distractions, and ask questions or respond with an idea or comment.
You should listen to what they are saying and pay attention to their tone and body language.
People tend to listen to other people that speak with confidence.
When speaking, ensure that you are confident.
Confidence makes people believe you know what you are saying or doing.
You can portray confidence by keeping eye contact with the person you are communicating with.
Keep good posture when standing or sitting.
Also, ensure that you have prepared your thoughts before speaking.
This will make your words polished.
You also have to be capable of answering any question they throw at you.
Respect – How to Develop Communication Skills
You should show respect to the people you communicate with.
How to show respect is by knowing when to speak and when to listen.
This way, you will not interrupt another person when they are speaking.
If you are respectful when communicating, you will be able to use someone else’s time wisely by; not derailing from the topic, responding correctly, and asking the right questions.
How fast your response comes is also seen as a communication skill.
It is wrong to keep someone waiting for a reply.
Ensure that you reply quickly when a message is passed across to you via call, email, social media, and text.
Keeping the message without replying for long does not facilitate effective communication.
When you receive a message, try to acknowledge that you have received it and let the person who sent it know that you will be responding correctly later.
Providing Feedback – How to Develop Communication Skills
As an effective communicator, you should be able to accept and provide critical feedback.
Every feedback should be constructive and helpful.
They should provide solutions, answer questions and also help in strengthening the topic being discussed.
Generally, feedback helps people in improving one way or the other when they accept it.
Using the Appropriate Method of Communication
This is a vital skill in communication.
The different method of communication works for different things and people.
You should consider and understand your audience before communicating with them.
This will help in avoiding embarrassment.
Ensure you think of the best method to use in communicating with different people or groups of people.
Understanding Non-Verbal Signs – How to Develop Communication Skills
This is one effective skill in communication.
When you understand people’s non-verbal signs, you will avoid discussion or giving replies that can cause issues.
Ensure you pay close attention to the body language of whoever you are communicating with at all times.
Also, when you are communicating with people, make sure you are conscious of your body language to avoid sending the wrong signs to others.
Benefits of Effective Communication Skills – How to Develop Communication Skills
Now that you know practical communication skills, we’ll be sharing with you the benefits.
There are several benefits of communicating effectively both in your business and in your daily living.
Here are some of the benefits:
It Builds Trust
One benefit of effective communication is that it builds trust between you and the person or people you communicate with.
Trust is established when you allow people to share their idea and option without shunning them.
As a result of respecting their options, they will respect you back, and a mutual relationship of trust will be developed.
It Promotes Efficiency – How to Develop Communication Skills
When you have effective communication skills, it helps in promoting efficiency in your workers.
This is because they understand the information you passed clearly and know the roles to play.
Consequently, there’ll be fewer mistakes, and you’ll prevent waste of resources because there will be fewer mistakes.
It Helps in Building Your Team
Effective communication skills help in building your team.
When your team members understand the goals you have set out for your business and work together to achieve the goal, it will foster a spirit of communalism.
This way, they will trust and encourage each other to continue pushing till that goal is achieved.
It Foster Good Relationship – How to Develop Communication Skills
When you can communicate properly, it helps foster a good relationship between you and your employees and your family and friends.
They will make them feel comfortable communicating with you at all times.
It Creates a Healthy Workplace
When communication is flowing freely and correctly in your business workplace, it makes it healthy and enjoyable.
Your employee will not be scared to approach you with an idea or option because they know you will respect them.
Also, when you give critical feedback to your employee, they will happily accept it and work to improve in that area you pointed out to them.
It Creates Opportunities – How to Develop Communication Skills
Effective communication skills can create opportunities.
When people enjoy communicating with you, this could prompt them to do business with you.
They will feel like you can do the job well because you could interact effectively during a conversation or discussion with them.
It Reduces Conflicts
Conflicts can be reduced when you can communicate effectively.
Most conflicts are caused by misunderstanding or misinterpretation.
However, when you can communicate well, you will ensure that misunderstanding and misinterpretation do not arise.
You will clearly state and make your employee understand what you want from them.
It Gives Your Business a Good Reputation – How to Develop Communication Skills
As a business owner, you are an ambassador of your business.
How you behave and communicate speaks a lot for your business.
Once people know that you communicate properly, it will make them see your business positively.
Tips On How To Develop Communication Skills
Just like every other skill, communication skills can be developed.
We will be sharing with you tips that will help you develop communication skills when you practice them.
Here are the tips:
Keep It Simple
When communicating, ensure you keep it simple.
Do not use big words that confuse people.
Ensure that the people you are communicating with can understand every word that comes out of your mouth.
Use simple words.
Stay On Track – How to Develop Communication Skills
When communicating, ensure you stay on track at all times.
That is, do not derail from the topic of discussion.
This will show that you know what is being discussed and how to keep the discussion going.
Study Body Language
The non-verbal communication method is one a lot of people have not mastered.
However, it is not hard to learn.
All you need to do is to study people’s body language.
Understand what every sign means.
This will help you understand people’s emotions, know the right response to give, and the best way to approach them.
It would be best if you also understood your body language to avoid sending out the wrong message.
Know When to Speak– How to Develop Communication Skills
When you are having a conversation with someone, you need to know the right time to speak and listen.
While a person is speaking, do not interrupt.
Allow that person to finish their line of thought before you speak.
When you do this, it shows that you respect the other person’s opinion or idea.
This will help foster a good relationship of respect between you and whoever you are communicating with.
When communicating with people, ensure that you engage them.
You can do this by asking them questions and encouraging them to contribute to the discussion.
When addressing more than one person, ensure you carry everybody along by engaging them.
Learn to Listen– How to Develop Communication Skills
Listening is one vital aspect of communication.
You have to learn to listen to yourself and others when communicating.
When you listen to others, you will be able to respond correctly to whatever is being said.
Listening to yourself will help you know when you are still on track.
Do not be one to speak and not listen.
Ensure That People Understand You
Communication is not effective when the people receiving the message do not understand it.
To ensure that you communicate correctly with people, ensure that they understand you.
You can do this by rephrasing your words and by figuring out ways to make your words clearer.
You can use examples and illustrations to make your words clear to your listeners or readers.
Maintain Eye Contact– How to Develop Communication Skills
When speaking to people, ensure you keep eye contact.
This will show that you care about them, and it will also build credibility.
When speaking, you have to ensure that you are audible.
Do not let people strain their ears before they can hear what you are saying.
Use a clear voice.
Likewise, enunciate and pronounce each word correctly.
Watch Your Tone – How to Develop Communication Skills
The tone is a vital aspect of communication that most people forget.
Your tone determines how your message is being received.
When speaking, it includes the way your voice becomes pitched and goes low.
People perceive your emotions from your voice.
Your tone also includes the way you structure your words.
You can say the same thing in two different ways.
For example, you want to see one of your employees after their lunch break.
You could say:
“Report to my office immediately after your break.”
‘See me in my office after your break.’
The two statements mean the same thing, but they are perceived differently.
The second one is friendlier than the first.
Hence, try to keep things friendly by structuring your words and watching your voice intonations.
When communicating, ensure you keep an open mind.
This simply means that you should learn to accept other people’s options and ideas.
This will encourage people to communicate freely with you.
Conclusion On How To Develop Communication Skills
Communication is an essential aspect of our daily living.
This is because you communicate with people regularly.
You can communicate with others verbally, non-verbally, visually, and also in writings.
To do this effectively, you have to possess communication skills such as; respect, confidence, friendliness, empathy, swift response, and so on.
You can develop all these skills and be a better person or leader that communicates effectively.
This you can develop them by understanding body language signs, simplifying your messages, learning to listen, being audible, watching your tone, and so on.
When you can communicate effectively, you will enjoy the benefits in your business and your everyday living.