Communication Skills

General Communication
Audience -
Knowing you audience is key when communicating. You have to understand who you will be communicating with in order to use the correct tone, media and body language. You have to be able to read your audience and be aware of what signals they are giving you, and react to it accordingly.
Adaptation - After knowing your audience you must be able to adapt to suit their needs. You must be able to recognise the most effective method of communication between you, be it written, voice, social media or the many other media we communicate through. When talking to an older person you may have to raise your voice in order for them to hear you.
Cultural Differences - You must respect those who are from different cultures than you, and be aware of any differences you have. Often hand gestures and body language mean complete different things on the other side of the world, so if you are communicating with someone from a different culture you should research these things and show respect. In Bulgaria they nod their heads to mean no and shake their heads to mean yes, so you have to be aware of these things as it can get confusing.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Skills are the skills we use when engaged in face-to-face communication with one or more other people.
Active Engagement - When in conversation with someone, you should be showing them that you are understanding what they are saying to you. This is done by use of body language, nodding or taking notes. It can also be done by summarising what they have been saying, or adding to what they have said or stating how you see it from your point of view. Asking your listener to clarify what you are saying can reinforce their understanding.

Question - Effective questioning is an essential skill. It can be used to obtain information, test your understanding, or seek agreement to your point of view. Generally they come as open or closed questions. Closed questions only seek a one or two word answer, often yes or no, and in doing so limit the response. Open questions give the answerer more room to talk and express themselves with their answer.


Written Communication

Grammar and Spelling - Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation are important in written communications. The reader will create an opinion of you, and errors make it likely that they will have a negative impression of you. Checking for poor writing and spelling mistakes should be seen as a courtesy to your readers since it can take them much longer to understand the messages in your writing if they have to think and re-read text to decipher these.
Structure - Structuring your writing is important yourself and the reader. Having a framework will prevent you from going off topic, and will allow the reader to understand what to expect from your writing. Using titles and subtitles gives a clear definition of the content of each part, and can equip the user with a means to find exactly what information they need. Splitting your writing into an introduction and conclusion, between your body of text, can help to wrap your piece into one coherent whole.