General Communication Skills
General communication skills are the skills that are often influenced by the person themselves or the environment they're in, an example being one person in a rural environment will have very different communication skills to that of someone from a city environment.
The culture of the person may affect how they react to you.
For instance, in Japan, a common greeting is to bow to your partner.
In comparison, in the US, they are much more physical with contact.
To contrast each other, in Japan, they bow as it is a form of greetings with no contact, which is avoided where possible.
On the other side of the spectrum, in the US, they use physical greetings as they are warm and friendly. This is because this seems rigid and stiff to the US, who usually only bow for very formal events.
Adaptation is the idea of altering your body language or form of communication to better suit the situation.
An adaptive person would be able to resolve an issue with an irate client by listening to what they are reporting and diffusing the situation, whether through logic of 'controlling' them. This is done by simply making them feel like they have resolved the issue themselves.
An adaptive person can also work to function in multiple roles, fulfilling that which others cannot at the time. An adaptive person in this respect is invaluable to a team.
Interpersonal Communication Skills
Interpersonal Communication Skills are the skills influenced by the methods of the person, for instance, how they react to problems, their preferred method of work, etcetera.
Positive language is language that engenders trust in the recipient, or language that causes cooperation. This is the recommended idea, as it encourages productivity and helps to keep communication fluid.
Negative language is language that engenders distrust in the recipient, causing them to loose willingness to cooperate and will discourage productivity and cause them to see you in a negative light.
Open questions are questions that have an 'open' answer, such as: "What day is it?"
Questions where there is only the option of answering with 'Yes' or 'No', such as "Is it raining currently?"
Vague questions that let you find out more about whoever you are questioning, such as "What is your favourite colour?"
Written Communication Skills
Written communication skills are the skills involved in communicating with someone in written form, whether over email, instant messengers or mail.
Grammar is a skill very key to the communication between two people. Grammar helps to distinguish between two different sentences, an example being "Let's eat, Grandpa", and "Let's eat Grandpa". In this, rather crude sentence, one comma changed the whole flow and meaning of it.
Grammar is important to written skills as it is the core of the skill. With poor grammar, it will be hard for someone to follow the sentence and may affect their opinion on the writer if they're not taking the time to proof read.
Proofreading is the process of re-reading a finished letter, statement or other piece of text or otherwise to check for any mistakes missed during the writing stage. This also helps the writer to avoid making these mistakes in the future as they know what they did wrong and can try to avoid this. It often helps to have an additional person proof read as well, as a writer will occasionally not pickup on mistakes, as they didn't during the writing stage.
Barriers that some face.
Disregarding the aforementioned cultural difference in the first box, as it has already been discussed, albeit at a glance, there are many social and cultural diversities in the General Skills.
An example of a barrier you may face for a general skill is the example of the different cultural differences between the world.
For instance in the Middle East, there is the idealism that the left hand is to be reserved for only personal hygiene uses. Due to this, they will often only use their right hand, this can lead to some problems between cultures should you attempt to greet them with your left hand in a handshake or something of that ilk.
Another cultural difference we face is that it is frowned upon in the Middle East to look someone directly in the eyes, as it is considered to be sexual of nature. This causes a lot of problems for those that are raised to always look someone in the eyes when speaking to them as it will set this off and cause either an awkward moment or a verbal dispute.
To overcome this barrier, simply avoid eye contact, as that is all that the issue is.
An interpersonal skill problem you may face is that you may have used negative language with a client or customer which has then caused them to want to avoid cooperating out of distrust or distaste, or perhaps simply due to a lack of understanding what you wanted them to do.
This can be easily fixed by contacting them with a message worded with positive language.
To avoid this in the future however, it is recommended you use more positive phrases.
For instance, avoid saying things such as 'You must', or 'You didn't, but rather advise them or open with a positive phrase, an example being that if you had declined an initial application but wanted a secondary application, rather than saying they failed the first, pick out the good parts and invite them to send a second. The alternative is just show genuine interest and respect for them and have the wording stay positive throughout.
A barrier to written communication skills could perhaps be grammar.
For instance, the following text taken from 'lardbucket.org' shows the problems that can occur due to poor grammar.
"i am confused as to why they are not due intil 11/10 i mean the calender said that they was due then so thats i did them do i still get credit for them or do i need to due them over on one tape? please let me know thanks. also when are you grading the stuff that we have done?"
As you can see, the basics are there, and it's understandable, but the quality is very low, and doesn't build the desire to help. The lack of effort in the formatting and grammar shows the writer in a poor light, whether the college student in this regard, or perhaps if it was a company. After all, if they don't take their time to properly handle their communication, what is there to make them handle your business.
To overcome this barrier, just use correct grammar and formatting in the message and allow yourself time to go back and proofread it.