10 Good Communication Skills You Absolutely Must Know by Barrie Davenport

Communication.  Most companies and managers fall short in this area of business. Our teams and clients need us to become better communicators. Here is a straight forward article full of great advice.


Every relationship you have is impacted by your ability — or inability — to communicate well.

Whether at work, in your love life, or with friends and family, good communication fosters better understanding, helps us resolve differences, promotes mutual trust and respect, and allows creative ideas to flourish.

Although communication seems fairly simple and straightforward, so much of our communication is misunderstood or misinterpreted. Of course, this can cause conflict and wounded feelings in personal and professional relationships.

Think about the times you’ve said something to your spouse or a friend, and your meaning was entirely misconstrued. Or consider an occasion when someone said something that hurt your feelings, only to learn later they had no idea how their words wounded you. In my own life, I’ve seen how the power of words can sow the seeds of trust and love — and how they can be divisive, hurtful, or misunderstood.

Learning effective communication is a skill set that should be part of every school curriculum, beginning in elementary school. Knowing these skills can make the difference in the quality of your personal relationships, your potential career success, and your own self-esteem and social confidence.

Here are 10 good communication skills you absolutely must know:

1. Body language

Your body language speaks volumes before you ever open your mouth. How you stand, your facial expression, and your eyes tell a story and create the very first impression others have of you. It doesn’t matter how powerful your words, if you don’t appear confident and friendly, people will assume you aren’t.

Become aware of your body language, and begin to make changes. Look others in the eye when you speak. Smile frequently (and appropriately). Offer a firm handshake or a warm hug (with friends and family). Stand up straight and hold your head high with your shoulders back. Don’t cross your arms or legs in a defensive posture.

2. Active listening

Good communication isn’t just about talking or using body language. It’s about listening well to others. By becoming a better listener, you can improve your relationships and social interactions, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.

Active listening involves consciously hearing beyond just the words spoken. It’s mindfully paying attention to the complete message being sent. Focus intently on the speaker, and try not to get distracted. Notice the speaker’s body language. Use your own body language to show you’re listening by nodding and smiling appropriately. Offer feedback and thoughtful comments.

3. Conflict resolution

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, and learning how to handle conflict in healthy ways is essential to making a relationship work. Many people choose to avoid conflict altogether because they don’t want to deal with the discomfort and pain. This only causes resentment and misunderstandings. When conflict triggers strong emotions, often a deep-felt unmet need is at the root of the problem. The needs and feelings of both parties must be respected and considered.

The ability to resolve conflict healthily requires you respond in a calm, non-defensive, and respectful manner. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your opinions and needs without threatening, wounding, or punishing others. Conflict resolution also means you can forgive and forget quickly, and that you have the ability to compromise for the sake of the relationship.

4. Authenticity

Read the rest here:  http://liveboldandbloom.com/08/self-improvement/good-communication-skills

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