General communication skills involve the ability to understand cultural differences which may affect delivery. The culture of the recipient may affect how you communicate with them for the reason that some cultures prefer more formal communication than others. The language used could be important as some cultures may take offence if language is used incorrectly, or may not understand certain colloquialisms.
It also covers adaptation which is essentially the ability to understand when to use the right tool dependent of the situation and recipient. The situation you are in will require you to adapt to the recipient and may dictate the tool you use to communicate with. You may need to modulate your voice when talking to different audiences such as younger people, as they may not understand jargon. You may also have to format a letter in a specific style.
Interpersonal communication skills make up 75% of their time communicating in this way. The type of language you use when communicating inter-personally can affect how the conversation goes. There are two main types of language that can be used. Positive, where language is used that engenders trust, understanding and a good opinion in the recipient. Negative, where language is used that engenders uncertainty, misunderstanding and a poor opinion in the recipient.
Questions are another important skill to use during interpersonal communication. The types of questions you use can aid the communication process. There are also two main types of question. Open, which will elicit a detailed response from the recipient, requiring them to think of their answer, such as ‘Why do you want to work for us?’. Closed questions will elicit a factual and simple yes or no answer, for example ‘How old are you?’.
Written communication is all about using writing to convey a message which can come in many different formats from mobile texts to letters. One huge factor to consider is grammar and spelling as this makes up the bare bones of a message. What one person perceives as something another may see as something else. For example ‘I like cooking my family and my pets’ which appears insane written like that, but with the additive of just one comma the meaning is completely changed – ‘I like cooking, my family and my pets’.
Proofreading is another simple yet effective written communication skill, which is simply when you (or another person) reads over what has been written, and correct any mistakes. It is often very easy to miss simple errors when typing something, and spell checks can miss certain things.