Importance of communication skills can hardly be over-emphasised. Communication skills act as embassidor of your personality and are responsible for creating your image among others. Its easy for me to sit here and preach but I know how difficult it is in reality.
In communication the first step can be considered as TRANSMISSION. Meaning you communicating something to others. It starts from choosing a medium. Today we have telephone,email etc to our disposal. If you think you will not be able to communicate face to face you can choose to talk on phone or through email. Email must be used only when you are very sure that you will not have to take back your words because the transmitted content remains in the receivers inbox. If you have to cimmunicate a message to many it is a better idea to bring them together and address them. It puts you in a position which resembles a leader. If you want to develop some leadership skills this can be a better start. Start talking in group and make every memebr listen to you. This happens only when you talk something serios and worth listening to.
It is a good idea to use simple words and sentences rather complex jargon. Sometimes we want to say onething and end up in saying something else that is contrary to what we were trying to say.
Confucius points out “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”. Making people listen is different and difficult then making them work on what they have heard.
RECEPTION is another aspect of communication where is you are given some information from someone. Concentrate on what you are listening and reading or viewing. The brain operates at much faster rate then one an read or listen so it tends to wander here and there. While you are listening pay full attention and make the other person feel that you are paying full attention to him. Secondly take extra time to revise and analyse what is being said. Note important points especially the ones that require your action or are of major concern to you. Think of corelation between various points and think if there is anything between lines.
Separate facts and opinions. Sometimes the person might try to state his opinion as facts so beware of that. Speakers body language and facial expression also say a lot. You may read books on these topics for more information.
Acknoledgeing the reception should also be done regularly. Never show that you agree or disagree but show that you are paying attention. Especially when the speaker is making a strong point.
ANALYSIS is the most important and difficult part in communication. It is done parallely with reception. It involves separation of facts from opinion. Separation of emotions. Stronger the emotions in a statement less mutual is the communication. When someone says “I just hate ice creams”. Your opinion in this matter has little value for him so do not bother to agree or disagree to this statement.
The main barrier to interpersonal communication is the inability to form a common frame of reference or evaluating strategy. If we fail to do this we often realize that both of us were talking about two different things.
To avoid this one need to develop and understanding of why exactly the other person in making a particular statement. Checking the other persons point of view may sound easy but it can at times get very difficult.
In an article in THE HINDU I read a great method to overcome this barrier. Whenever your are in argument with someone and about to say something wait for a moment and state exactly what the other person has said need not be in same words. Sounds easy but difficult also a sure solution to commnication problems.