Communication is an integral part of life, but how many of us know how to listen, read non-verbal cues, and express yourself well?
No matter how many people you speak to, or engage online with every day, there is always more to learn when it comes to improving your personal and professional communication skills.
In this post, we explore different types of communication skills, how to improve your communication as well as the benefit of effective communication when wanting to achieve personal and professional goals.
Types of communication skills
Communication happens even when we aren’t talking, or writing a text, we still share information through non-verbal behaviour. Subconscious fears and beliefs can drive a lot of what we are communicating. These can interfere in building effective relationships, especially in a multicultural global-economy.
One of the most important aspects of non-verbal communication is body language, which can say so much, without you even realising it. It might not seem as relevant when communicating via instant messaging, Zoom or email. However, what drives our communication style subconsciously can have a profound impact on the way we interact with others. This means it’s important to understand what drives our own, and others’, behaviour.
Good communication skills
What does it mean to communicate well? Is it writing and speaking clearly, or being able to express your needs and make your voice heard?
While we might have been conditioned to think that speaking loudly and confidently is the epitome of a good communicator, is this not perhaps just one side of the coin?
To provide an overview of the skills you need to communicate effectively, here are a few key areas that impact on how we interact:
Many of us focus on how a message is being delivered, and by whom, but effective communication is a two-way street. If you want to interact in a meaningful way, you also need to listen. Pay equal attention to verbal communication, as well as how a message is physically being shared. This will enable you to respond in a way that creates a constructive exchange, through “active listening”.
In a diverse and ever-evolving world, there are many ways of approaching the same issue, so respect is fundamental. Respect also relates to empathy and open-mindedness, which allows you to put yourself in another person’s shoes and see things from their perspective.
We might have to deal with conflict in the most basic of everyday exchanges. Mutual respect can be a pathway to resolving the most complex problems and misunderstandings. Being able to overcome obstacles, notably in a work environment, is critical.
It can be difficult to communicate or understand another person’s point of view, or even to work together on tackling a problem if you don’t know how to express yourself clearly. This is a skill that takes constant work. Once again, our subconscious mind can interfere in this process, especially if we have had difficulty communicating our needs in the past. Alternatively, if we haven’t been encouraged to express ourselves.
For this reason, completing a course on effective communication can be a valuable tool to help understand our own limitations. It can also assist in pinpointing which areas you can improve.
How to improve communication skills
Building awareness of how to interact, listening and getting our message across in a constructive way can be helpful steps in improving our communication skills.
In life, this often happens naturally through trial and error, but with the volumes of freely available information on the web, there is no reason to struggle through unnecessary arguments, confusion and conflict. Now more than ever, there are tips and tools available to help you to convey your thoughts and feelings in a non-violent and mutually beneficial way.
Completing an online course can help you focus on key areas where you struggle to communicate or listen. This is important considering that much of what we might like to express can be limited, diluted or misconstrued through the digital channels we use to communicate.
The importance of communication skills
In a world where the predominant means of communication is via digital platforms, it’s important to make sure that we equip ourselves to listen effectively, show respect and communicate clearly and concisely.
SACAP Global offers a variety of online micro-credentials for busy working professionals that want to acquire new skills to stay relevant in their careers. These courses can improve practical skills which can form part of a lifelong learning trajectory!
The Effective Interpersonal Communication course offers particular value in this area. It teaches you how to strengthen connections in your professional and personal life. This micro-credential will help you sharpen your listen skills, read non-verbal cues, respond and express yourself effectively to strengthen connections. These are key skills that will enable you to thrive in a constantly shifting global economy.
Interested in finding out more? Reach out and talk to us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org