Communication Skills

Principles Of Effective Communication


In order to have effective communication you need to have the three main elements which are; a source - a communication tool - a recipient.

Communication is a way of getting ideas to one another verbally or non verbally. verbal communication means talking to someone face to face, a telephone call or a voice mail. A non verbal way would be via an email or a SMS text message.

How it works is that the sender of the message will formulate a message and send it to the recipient who will then decode it and formulate their response. Once they have formulated the feedback they then become the sender who sends their response back.

The three main words used for effective communication at work are; Clarity,

Consideration and Courtesy.

Clarity implies emphasising on a specific message or goal at a time. This is easier than trying to do to much at any one time. Clarity is about making things easier to understand by using smaller, less complicated words. It can also mean talking clearly and not mumbling words, so everyone can understand the point you're making.

Taking things into consideration means understanding who your target audience is, for example the words you use to explain something to a five year old would be completely different some of the words you would use if you were explaining the same thing to a thirty-five year old. Consideration is about empathising with the audience and exhibiting interest in them.

Courtesy in a message should imply that the message should show the sender's expressions as well as should respect the receiver. When sending the message you should be; polite, enthusiastic, judicious and reflective. Courtesy suggests that you should take in to consideration both view points as well as the feelings of the person receiving the message.

General Communication

General Communication skills involves adapting to the situation and the recipient, those two factors are what will indicate what tool you use to communicate with. Another part of General Communication is about the audience and target group. Depending on what sort of audience/target group you have will depend on how you communicate with them to ensure they are engaged in the conversation. It is essential that you understand these factors as no employer wants someone who can't adapt to a situation or can't get over barriers of someone being from a different culture.

The recipient will depend on what technology you use (if any) to send a message. There are 3 main ways to send a message.

The first way is the written way: this includes writing a letter and posting it off in the post to the receiver which is an inexpensive but long way to send a message to someone. Another written way is via email:this requires both parties to have an email address which are easy to sign up and are therefore more than just sending and receiving emails. They can also be used as notifications for when a shop brings out a new range for example. Sending an email is a fast and free way to send a message to someone wherever they may be around the world.

The next way is by voice. This is where technology has come into play as in these days most people have some form of platform in which they can download Skype. Skype is a way of video calling someone so you can see each other and communicate at the same time. This is a good way to talk as it's free all you need to do is have a Skype account and good connection to a server.

The final way is over any social media account. Social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. They all have some form of messenger where you can contact anybody who has the social media account. All of the examples of social media accounts I have given are free to download you just have to set up your own profile and add the contact you are wanting to message. This is a good way to send and receive messages as it's free and fast.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is made up of different key factors in which all employers look for in a candidate. The factors include; language, active engagement, questions and speed of response. You can tell how a conversation is going to go in around the first few minutes by looking out for how the person you're speaking to is using these factors. It is important to the employer than you understand these communication skills because it shows who you are as a person and how you would fit in into their company and if they want the type of person you are in their company.

Language is set into 2 different categories which are Positive language and Negative language. Positive language is things like giving someone a well done when they do something right, or giving someone good feedback after they've impressed you. By using positive language it shows that you're and esteem-boosting individual which is the type of person employers want their other employees to be around. Negative language is telling someone off, or giving out bad criticism. For example if someone made a mistake in a report negative language would be pointing it out and raising your voice in a manner where the receiver's esteem would lower and their confidence would deflate. There are ways of giving criticism without it being negative. It is called Constructive criticism. This is where you start with a positive thing that they have done, then mention the negative but give advise on how they can improve their mistake, and finally end it on another positive. This way they wont feel like they've been personally attacked.

Active engagement means showing that you're interested in the conversation even if you're not interested. Just by nodding your head when the other person is talking and occasionally saying yes you understand shows that you're listening to the other person. If you don't show attention and you're looking elsewhere and have a bored look on your face then the person talking would start to feel like they're not important enough to finish what they have to say so they would rush and pile everything bit of information in quickly so they don't feel like they're boring you. This would also affect their confidence.

There are 2 types of questions; open and closed.

An open question is a question where you want the person to expand on their answer, an example of an open question would be "what did you get up to at the weekend?"

A closed question is a question that requires a one word answer, more than likely a yes or no answer. An example of a closed question would be "did you go out at the weekend?"

Speed of response means how quick you reply to somebody's message or question. The speed will be dependant on the type of communication the sender has used to contact you. For example if you was in a face to face conversation then you would expect the person you were speaking to, to acknowledge what you are saying and formulate a response fairly quickly. Where as if you send a message via email then the response may be longer as the receiver may be busy or not on their platform to reply so the speed of response could vary from short or long or not at all. Sometimes when somebody receives an email they put it to one side and tell themselves they'll reply later, then forget to reply.

Written Communication

When communicating through a written message it is import than you remember the key factors to make it professional. These factors are; Grammar and spelling, structure, relevance, note taking and proof reading. It's important to the employer than you remember all these factors because it shows how professional you are. For example if you're writing a news flyer and handing them out and the spelling and grammar is all wrong then it looks unprofessional which will distract the readers attention and put them off.

The structure of a written message is the way in which you set your layout out. An effective way of doing this is to use quite short paragraphs. If you just write in big blocks of writing the reader of the message would get bored of reading. By writing in small paragraphs it allows the reader to take breaks at stages so they can refresh which wont allow them to get bored of reading.

Relevance means how you stay on track and not write about stuff that's not involved with the original topic of the message. You need to make sure your message has a purpose and you stick to that purpose, not start wondering off onto another topic which is completely irrelevant.

Proof reading is going over your written message a couple of times to make sure you haven't made any mistakes and everything is professional. If you do come across a mistake it's professional to correct yourself so that everything is correct and you can send your message. If you don't proof read your message you could send your message with mistakes in which is very unprofessional to do and could give the company you work for a bad name.

Barriers To Communication

A barrier is something that can prevent or reduce the effectiveness of communication.

There are 3 categories which are:

-General barriers

-Interpersonal barriers

-Written barriers

Barriers To General Communication

The first general barrier is the cultural barrier. An example of a cultural barrier would be when two business men meet up somewhere to discuss the possibility of a sale, they could be from two completely different countries. Another general barrier would be the physical barrier. An example of a physical barrier would be if two people were trying to communicate through a wall, the wall would reduce the volume of which one could hear so it would be very difficult to speak through a wall or from different rooms.

Overcoming Barriers To General Communication

One way of overcoming the cultural barrier is to use Google translator. It is a fast simple way to translate any word/words from one language to another, all you have to do is type in the word/words you wish to translate, pick the language you wish to translate them to and press enter. The original and newly translated word will then appear. Another way of overcoming the cultural barrier is to bring a translator with you who can understand both languages fully.

A way of overcoming the physical barrier would be to get up and walk into the same room as the person you're communicating with, this with help with the clearness of the speech and also the volume, therefore there will be no barrier in the way of the communication.

Barrier To Interpersonal Communication

The first Interpersonal barrier would be the poor communication barrier. This is where the messenger doesn't give enough detail to the receiver or they speak that quick that the receiver cannot function it all in time so they may miss things and mess whatever instructions were being delivered. The next barrier is the emotional barrier. This is when someone is high on emotions whether it be happiness, sadness angriness etc. That they do not register what anybody is saying.

Overcoming Barriers To Interpersonal Communication

One way to get over the Poor communication barrier would be to clarify everything you are saying, or ask the message sender to clarify everything. It's easier to go over everything again than to try and juggle everything at once. Another way of getting over the poor communication barrier would be to speak slower and clearer so the receiver can understand each instruction or bit of detail with full understanding.

To overcome the emotions barrier you would be best leaving the person to calm down before speaking. This way they can clear their head of all emotions which will help them function everything they hear properly.

Barriers To Written Communication

One barrier of communication for a written message is slang. Slang is shortened words which people use to send messages a lot quicker. An example of slang would be instead of writing the word ' you' they would put 'U'. Another barrier would be poor spelling and grammar. Poor spelling and grammar gives off the wrong meaning and sometimes doesn't make sense. This could lead to messed up instructions as an example.

Overcoming Barriers To Written communication

To overcome the barrier of slang would be to take your time typing a message, don't rush anything make sure you write words in full. A way of overcoming the barrier of poor grammar and spelling would be to proof read everything you do before you send it. Proof reading just means checking for any mistakes that may have occurred whilst writing your message. You do this to be professional and to make sure the message cannot my misunderstood or misinterpreted.