Effective Communication Skills

General Communication

General communication is a common form of communication that can present itself in many forms.

General communication can involve adaptation, for example, you can be speaking to somebody who is very posh and formal, and in this instance it is good practice to adapt your communication in order to communicate in a formal way with them and match their type of communication.

Cultural differences are also a large part of general communication as you may be speaking to someone from a different background to yourself and they may use different terminology to you and speak of things in a different light to how you do. Cultural differences in general communication can be a really good thing as they allow you to show your interest in the other person's culture and open up the opportunity for asking a variety of questions. The differences in culture between people can present themselves quite heavily in general communication.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is the face to face exchange between people of information, feelings, opinions and more.

Language is a really important part of interpersonal communication, more specifically the type of language you use is important, if you were speaking with negative language then the other person may just view you as a negative person that may not be very productive or a good person to be around. If you refer to the glass half full as opposed to half empty and speak with positive language, seeing the best of a bad situation then the other person is more likely to view you in a good light and think you're a good person to be around who will be productive and helpful.

Questions are also a big part of interpersonal communication, there are different forms of questions, open questions are questions that demand a descriptive or more detailed answer than just a quick one word answer. A closed question is just a question that requires a yes or no answer. A direct question is basically a closed question but for a more specific answer, for example, "Do you prefer apples or bananas?" you couldn't answer this with yes or no, but it is also not an open question.

Written Communication

Written communication is exactly as the title implies, it is just the name given to communication that comes in a written form.

Spelling and grammar are probably the most important parts of written communication, if you write with good punctuation and spelling, the recipient is going to respect you a lot more and view you as a more academic person as opposed to if you kept spelling words incorrectly and weren't using full stops or apostrophes correctly, because this would make you come across as not so bright, even if your skill sets are perfect for the job you're applying for.

Structure is also a fundamental part of written communication, if you were to just write out a huge block of text the readability would be affected and it wouldn't look very tidy. If you were to structure the text correctly using titles, paragraphs and the correct spacing, the recipient will be much more comfortable and willing to read what you have to say, it will also make you come across as more intellectual as it proves your abilities in written communication.

Communication Barriers

General Communication

One of general communication's most common barriers are physical barriers, this could be a desk between you and the person you're speaking to in the case of an interview. Physical barriers can have a large effect on general communication, imagine your friend pulled up beside you in a car and started trying to speak to you without winding down the window, you would face great difficulty understanding him, but if he removes the barrier that is the window, you will hear him much clearer and the conversation will flow much smoother.

Cultural barriers are also common in general communication, someone may have a different background to yourself and so may disagree with some of the things from your culture and you may also disagree with some of the things from their culture, this makes communicating with this person much harder, another barrier you may face from speaking to someone with a different culture is the words they use or their language, they may use words that you've never heard before and don't understand.

Interpersonal Communication

Attitudinal barriers are common in interpersonal communication, this is when one person's attitude makes it difficult for the other person to communicate with them. If you show a good positive attitude that is inviting to other people then they will feel good about communicating with you, but if you're being negative or have an attitude about something that they cannot agree with then it becomes hard to communicate effectively.

Non-verbal barriers are also a large part of interpersonal communication, this could be anything from facial expressions to hand gestures. If you're talking to somebody and you're pulling a silly face, they may find it hard to communicate with you properly. If you're waving your hands about vigorously this may cause them to think that you're angry or being slightly aggressive and that will cause issues when it comes to communicating. Posture is also something to consider, if you're slouched over and not asserting confidence then the other person may find it hard to communicate with you, but if you're sitting up straight with your head up you will be asserting confidence and won't seem closed off to the other person so it is much easier to communicate.

Written Communication

Language is probably the biggest barrier in written communication, if you're speaking to somebody who can only speak French but you're writing in English they're not going to be able to understand what you're trying to tell them.

Grammar and spelling are also large barriers in written communication, if words are constantly spelled wrong or punctuated incorrectly then it may become difficult to understand the message that is being sent across. You may also seem less educated if you're spelling everything incorrectly and dotting punctuation about at random, so this may cause people to find it difficult speaking to you.

The layout of what you have written can have a large effect on written communication, if you have just written out a huge lump of text without any spacing, titles or paragraphs it may become hard to read and people will be less willing to read what you have shared with them.