Communication Skills

Communication skills on a notepadIt is all too easy nowadays to forget about basic communication essentials. We all lead busy lives and have many competing demands for our attention. Much of our interaction can now be indirect via email or messaging which whilst quick and convenient can lead to miscommunications. These communication methods can lack adequate information about context and tone or we can misread what has been said or meant.

I am still a huge fan of good old face to face communication! There is nothing like meeting new people and getting to know them, a family gathering or a catch up with a good friend over a cuppa. With this is mind, I thought it might be useful to remind us of some tips we can all utilise to optimise our face to face communication.

  • Think about the physical environment. Be close to the person with whom you are communicating so that you reduce the amount of effort you are putting into speaking. This also reduces the risk of straining your voice which can occur when talking over longer distances
  • Distracting thoughtsReduce or if possible remove background noise. Turn off the television or radio, move away from a boiling kettle or other people who are talking. Background noises can be a distraction and you have to work harder to speak over them
  • Make sure you get the person’s attention prior to speaking by using their name for example
  • Look at the person. Use eye contact to show that you are interested in what the other person is saying and to demonstrate that you are listening
  • If you are having a conversation, give it your full attention otherwise meanings can get lost and misunderstandings can occur
  • Couple talking over coffeeUse signals to show that you are listening. These might be non-verbal such as nodding your head or short verbal responses such as “mm” or “okay”
  • Listen patiently and try not to interrupt someone when they are talking. Being a good listener takes effort. Your time to talk will come!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today. More of my blog articles are available here. Please do get in touch if there is anything you would like to share or ask.

Best wishes