Communication Skills

The Principles of Effective Communication

General Communication

Having the ability to communicate effectively is the most important life skill, especially in a working environment. Communication is the act of transferring information from one place to another. This can be done in several ways:

- Vocally, this requires using your voice to communicate

- Written, this can include things such as books, magazines, websites or emails

- Visually, this can be done via using maps, charts or graphs

- Non-verbally, using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of voice

The ability to communicate information accurately and clearly, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked at it is a important attribute to have, especially in a working environment. Professionally, in most job roles you will need to demonstrate good communicational skills.

General communication includes facing different barriers which may impact the communication:

- Cultural barriers, people with different cultures often work together, this may hinder communication between them as there are culture clashes. It is important to identify the problem and come up with the most efficient way of solving it. For example, the concept of personal space varies between cultures.

-Psychological barriers, this will influence the receiver of the communication and how they receive the message. For example, if the receiver is worried and stressed they may be preoccupied with other situations and not be as receptive to the form of communication.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal skills are the skills we use when engaged with communication, either face to face or with one ore more other people.

As well as using vocal skills to communicate, using non-verbal skills such as signals, facial expressions and body language allows you to be able to have a better connection with the people you are communicating with which then allows them to gain more understanding from what you are communicating.

Listening is also a vital interpersonal communication skill, as on average we spend 45% of our time listening during communication. Reflection and clarification are both techniques used to ensure that you have heard and understood what was intended.

By having good interpersonal communication skills it allows you to be able to work more effectively when in groups or teams. it is often desirable to build a strong relationship with others, as this allows better communication and understanding.

Interpersonal communication skills are also an essential value as it helps to gain other key skills as well. Being able to communicate well in groups or teams is essential to solving problems. Another skills that interpersonal communication helps develop is Decision making as this often requires communicating complex information.

Also Interpersonal communication is essential when faced with a barrier when communicating with other people. Interpersonal skills barriers include:

- Attitudinal barriers, this means when the communicator has a certain attitude (positive or negative) which would interfere with the communication skills. Ways to overcome this barrier is to make sure as a communicator, to speak to everyone as an equal.

- Poor communication, this means when the communicator may be using informal language, not speaking clearly and having errors during the communication. To avoid this barrier as a communicator you must speak clearly and confidently towards people, making sure they have full understanding of what you are saying

- Emotional barriers, this means when the communicators emotions interfere with the communication or the person who is being communicated to is emotionally unstable. The best way to overcome this barrier is to talk in a calm and comfortable manor as they may need comfort.

- Non-verbal barriers, this means that the communicator is not using gestures and facial expressions and may have a bad body position when communicating. Overcoming this barrier is to make sure that you use gestures to help engage the people your communicating to and also to have a good body position to involve people into your what your saying and it also shows confidence using non-verbal communication

Written communication

Communication skills also include written communication with other people. The ability to be able to write clearly and effectively is a key communication skill.

These skills required for this would be:

- Grammar and Spelling, this is massively important in written communication as in a work environment it is key to keep all things at a high professional standard. Faults and errors is a sign of being unprofessional

- Structure, the layout of written communication is important as it needs to be easy to read so that the reader has the best understanding possible for the text, it also dictates the type of document involved (formal or informal).

- Relevance, The written text needs to be relevant for the message you are trying to communicate. Conveying this message is important as you don't want the reader to get the wrong message from the text

- Note Taking, this is important as it shown listening skills and by noting down key information will help you gain full understanding of the communication.

- Proofreading, this is essential for checking all the grammar and spelling, structure and relevance is correct and at a professional standard.

Written communication skills are essential when faced with Written communication barriers which may affect the communication:

- Language, if the reader speaks a different language this would be a massive barrier for written communication, the best way to solve this is by using text translation programmes which will be able to change the language of the text so the reader will be able to understand the written communication

- Grammar and Spelling, poor spelling can also be a major impact of the barriers to effective communication. By sending a piece of written communication which has poor grammar and spelling, this can be seen as unprofessional to the reader and may cause difficulties for the reader to understand. This is why proof reading is a massive importance when sending written communication

- Irrelevant content, this can be a major issue on the barriers of communication. If irrelevant content is sent this can confuse the reader and the reader may not be able to fully understand the intended message. This causes an overall barrier as the message is not understood due to faults in communication. The way to overcome the happening is to proofread all content to make sure that it is specific and relevant so the reader will be able to understand the intended message