Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Joshua Isibor
Are you thinking of how to effectively and efficiently share your thoughts and ideas? Are you finding it difficult to relate your opinion to others?
Not to worry, in this article, we would show you some ways to improve your communication skills.
What is Communication?
Communication is the act of transferring meaningful messages from one person, group, or entity to another. This can be done through the use of signs, symbols, and language. Also, communication involves three parties- the sender, the message, and the receiver. Therefore, it occurs when the meaning of a message is understood by both parties. However, it requires the use of specific skills for it to be effective.
What are Communication Skills?
Communication skills are the use of expertise to achieve the desired outcome while sending and receiving a meaningful message. As a result, communication becomes easier, faster, and more effective with these skills. Examples of communication skills include the following:
- Emotional control
- Non-verbal communication using body language
- Stress management
These skills will be discussed in detail as you read on. They are important in everyday life as you relate with other people around you.
Emotional control is the ability to manage feelings. Also, it involves regulating and controlling responses to the outcome of an experience or situation in a manner that positively affects oneself and other people around you.
As a psychological term, emotional control helps one to effectively control the mind when faced with different situations. It is also an important aspect of communication. As a result, its place cannot be overemphasized. For instance, if an emotion of anger is portrayed in response to a situation that requires comportment, it passes a wrong message across to the receiver of the message.
Listening refers to the ability to effectively receive, understand, interpret, and respond to a message in the process of communication. It is an active process that is especially important in communicating with people daily. However, it comes in various types. These are:
- Emphatic or empathetic listening
- Discriminatory listening
- Appreciative or Trust-based listening
- Biased listening
- Evaluative listening
- Comprehensive listening
- Sympathetic listening
The type of listening depends majorly on the sender and receiver of the message passed in the communication process. As a communication skill, it is necessary to always engage in active listening. This can be done by paraphrasing a message to an easily understandable form, demonstrating with creative ideas, asking questions, using active phrases that actively engages the listener.
Additionally, listening can be hindered by semantic ambiguity, physical distractions, and the psychological state of the listener.
Non-Verbal Communication Using Body Language
This is a type of communication skill that involves using stance, gestures, and facial expressions to send messages and signals in the communication process. It majorly encompasses all expressions that do not involve the use of words or verbal communication. The body is the major tool used to send the message across to the receiver.
However, body language can either be positive or negative. Examples of positive body language include smiling, waving, handshakes, eye contact, soft voice tone, good appearance, and kind gesture. On the other hand, negative body languages include frowning, picking the nose, fidgeting, harshness, and excessive nodding.
You should not ignore this type of communication skill at all in the communication process. It plays a very vital role.
You may be wondering why friendliness is a communication skill. It is important because it goes a long way to influence your relationship with people. It involves showing love, kindness, patience, support, and care for others.
Also, as a communication skill, it enhances trust, comfortability, open-mindedness, and reliability during the communication process. Some examples of friendly attitudes are having an approachable personality, listening before speaking, be open-minded, and be emotionally stable.
Stress is experienced by every human being. However, what varies is the peculiarity and degree to which each experiences stress. Stress could be acute or chronic. More so, you should know that stress is relative and cannot be eliminated from the human environment. The presence of stressors like work, deadlines, money, health, relationship pressure, anxiety among others makes this task a futile one.
Stress disrupts the balance of the general body emotionally, mentally, physically, and even psychologically directly or indirectly. Strategies like regular exercises, meditation, taking deep breaths, sufficient rest, right diet, and others can be used to handle stress.
Here’s is a list of some strategies for managing stress:
- Rest. This involves ceasing from movement or anything that causes stress. It helps the body and mind to relax.
- A positive attitude in responding to events around you helps the body overcome stress. This involves having a positive mindset.
- Eat a balanced diet
- Identify the stressors, that is, what makes you stressed out. This could be work, money, pressure from friends, etc.
- Have an exercise routine. Regular exercises boost the body’s resistance to stress. It helps the body to be physically fit.
- Take a nutritional supplement. This helps to make up for the nutrients lacking in the body. They also serve as a relief to stress. Supplements like Zinc, fish oil, vitamins, etc. help the body handle stress effectively.
- Imbibe relaxation techniques into your lifestyle. This involves meditation, taking Yoga classes, engaging the creative power of the mind, writing, or listening to soothing music. These can help the mind keep calm and relieve the bod
Consequently, when the body is stressed, it affects the communication process. Therefore, you should always ensure that stress is managed effectively and efficiently.
Being respectful in communication is particularly important. It will prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretation in the communication process. A respectful communicator passes messages across in a manner that pleases, as well as conveys the original intention of the message to the receiver.
As a result, mutual respect begets effective and efficient communication. It removes tension, offense, and conflict in communication.
Confidence is the ability to pass a message or information with precise or concise conviction. It involves being sure of the message you are sending to the receiver. When communicating without confidence it implies that you are not sure of the message. This not a good omen in the communication process.
Therefore, it is important to always build confidence, assertiveness, conciseness, and accountability when communicating. Also, this will aid the effective understanding and interpretation of the message.
Additionally, you should know that clarity and straightforwardness work hand-in-hand with confidence while communicating. So, do not overlook any of these salient communication skills while passing a message at work, school, public gathering, or any occasion.
Having discussed extensively on communication skills, we shall now look at the basic steps on how to improve your communication skills.
Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills- 7 Basic Steps
To improve your communication skills, follow these steps:
- Practice the act of communicating non-verbally with facial expressions, posture, and gestures.
- Use easily understandable key points or words to convey your message
- Interact with your audience by asking questions and honest feedback. This will help you to listen and know the opinion of your audience
- Always comport yourself in the most ideal manner. This involves making sure you are emotionally stable and relaxed.
- Practice the act of preparing well before speaking to an audience. You can write down some of the issues you wish to discuss in a paper before the meeting commences.
- Keep video or audio records of the event. This will help you to re-watch and adjust where it is needed
- Be time-conscious always
These steps will go a long way to improve your communication skills with time.
In conclusion, improving your communication skills is very vital for effective communication to take place. Therefore, it is a process that yields mind-blowing results with time, consistency, and determination.
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