Communication Skills

By Sam Ferris

General Communication


Within general communication it is important to ensure that you adapt to the social group that you're in, you should do this to make sure that the recipient of the information is listening and is processing the information properly. To do this you will have to observe your audience, for example if you are providing information for a younger audience you would have to move a lot, use many gestures, and stay lively to ensure that they stay attentive and are engaged with what you're saying if you do this correctly the audience will engage with you and show you that they are taking in the information. If you were presenting to an older audience you wouldn't be as lively but you would have to use large gestures, make direct eye contact and engage with the audience calmly to ensure that the audience feel engaged into the conversation and that they are taking in the information without overwhelming them.


When using general communication you must ensure that you carefully observe your audience because it will largely effect the way you communicate with them. For example if you are presenting something to group of Business Associates you would speak in a very professional manner and use open questions by doing this you will show the audience that you are confident in what you are saying, with this type of audience you would also use quite open and friendly body language while still maintaining dominance. This will ensure that you appear out-going and enthusiastic while still maintaining control of the presentation. If you were addressing children you would speak more slowly to ensure that they can easily understand what you're saying, you may also make an effort to avoid using advanced language to ensure the audience are not confused, another thing you might do is use buzz words to ensure that the attention of the audience is all on you.

Interpersonal Skills

Active engagement

Within Interpersonal skills you must ensure that you are actively engaging the person or people you're speaking to. As an example if someone was telling you about their day, you would nod to show them that you're a listening intently nodding can also indicate that you agree with the person and therefore it shows you are processing the information they are providing for you. You may also occasionally sympathise or empathise with them to show them that not only are you listening you're also understanding what they are saying to you, When listening to someone you could use body language to actively engage for example if someone id talking directly speaking to you could lean forward to show that you are openly trying to listen and take in everything they are saying to you, another example of body language could be to rub your lower face or chin to show that you're considering their opinion and summarising it in your head.


When using interpersonal skills it is important to use the correct language, to do this you must assess the environment and conversation and choose whether you should use positive or negative language. As an example if you were a teacher and you needed to praise a student for a completed task you would use verbal language such as "Well Done" and "Great Work”, as for non-verbal communication you would use very open body language to engage the student and make them feel praised, you would also show positivity with your facial expressions by smiling. You would use negative language toward someone you were arguing with, for example you would say words aggressively or loudly to assert yourself, you may keep a strong stance to gain power, you would show aggression or anger through your facial expressions by frowning or scowling at a person all of these are types of how you would use positive and negative language.

Written Communication Skills


When using Written Communication you must ensure that when you're writing all of the topics within your text are relevant to what the point is, you must avoid writing in circles and repeating yourself, you must also ensure that you get straight to the point while maintaining detail, As an example if you were writing a letter to the council complaining about the damage to the roads you would talk about what damages there are to the road, such as pot holes, cracks and dips in the road, but you would not mention damages to the pavement or the area around the road because you had not mentioned it in the letter. Another example would be if you had to write a report on the changes within the stock market, you would talk directly about the stock market and relevant factors and business affecting it to ensure that you do no steer away from the main point of the text.

Note Taking

When taking notes you must ensure that your notes are short but detailed, if your notes are too long you won’t remember them but if they are not detailed enough you won’t understand them in the future, another reason your notes should be clear is if a colleague needs to read them, to ensure your notes are clear you should stick to the point and only take notes on completely relevant information, you should also compare your notes to the original text to ensure you can make links and easily understand them. When taking notes you must also ensure that they are there to jog your memory and not there to tell you all of the information, to do this you may colour code your notes in order to associate certain subjects with colour, you may also draw little images next to your notes to make links to certain doodles and there topics.

Communication Barriers

General Barriers

Lack of Knowledge

Lack of knowledge is a barrier because without the correct knowledge a person may not be able to complete a task they have been given, they may also have been hired for a job they cannot complete which will create issues. Some examples of lack of knowledge could be if you were hired as an IT technician and you were required to know how to use help desk but you don't have any experience with it. Another example would be if you were given resources to help you complete a task but you did not know how to use the resources.

Overcoming this Barrier

This Barrier can be easily overcome by an employer. To overcome this barrier an employer could create or set up training courses within the work space to help employees learn the things that they will be required to use. Another thing an employer could do is to do thorough knowledge checks on candidates before they are employed to ensure that they are capable of performing the tasks they are required to do. Another method to overcome this barrier would be for an employee to research the role and use resources to ensure they have enough knowledge. An obvious example would be for the employee to use a search engine to gain the required knowledge.

Interpersonal Barriers

Attitude Barriers

An attitude barrier is a personal barrier, an example of a personal barrier could be, if you didn't have a good view toward your colleagues it could affect the way you work, another example could be if you were unhappy with your employment you would have a negative attitude toward going to work. An example of a positive attitude affecting your work could be that if you were extremely happy with an event outside of work you may be too happy to concentrate on your work and the tasks you need to complete many aspects of your attitude can affect how you work.

Overcoming this Barrier

A way of overcoming a negative attitude issue you could ensure that you are happy in your employment, another way of overcoming a negative attitude is by understanding why you have the attitude and if you determine it is not work related, you forget about it until after work. if you're happy within your employment you will have a positive attitude toward work, To overcome a positive attitude barrier you could ensure that anything that has you preoccupied before work gets put to the back of your head and you priorities work these are just a few way to overcome an attitude barrier.

Written Barriers


Grammar is a written Barrier that could cause issues in predominately a big organisation, barriers can be caused when sending emails or letters to customers our staff, if a customer or staff member cannot understand an email or letter due to a grammatical error they may not be able to complete as task or meet a specification, an example could be if you wrote an email explaining a resource, with the grammatical error the receiver might not understand what the resource and will be unable to use it to benefit them within the workplace. Another example could be if you send a letter with an error it may look unprofessional and you will lose clientèle.

Overcoming this Barrier

To overcome this barrier you could ensure that before sending an email you have run the spell checker, this will ensure that there are no grammatical errors before the receiver gets the email, as well as this you could proof read your emails to ensure that you can’t find any language errors before sending it, with letters you cannot digitally spell check but you can proof read. If you're not confident in proof reading your documents you could get a peer or supervisor to help you proof read it. These are two methods of how you could overcome this barrier.