How do I Develop Communication Skills?

Assess your Communication Skills

Why is Communication Important?

Ineffective communication is a major, yet avoidable, obstacle to business productivity.

What is Successful Communication?

Successful communication is not a one-way process. Communication is as much a matter of human relationships as it is about transmitting facts. This two-sided relationship is the essence of communication. This applies whether the communication is verbal or written. To communicate successfully managers and supervisors have to understand the other person, and have to work hard to get the other person to understand them.

How can I Communicate Effectively?

Focus on the Receiver of your Communication

Building rapport is an important prerequisite for opening up your communication; this requires genuine empathy and respect for the other person.

Gain the attention of the person you wish to communicate with. Always keep the other person firmly in mind when you write or speak and build your communication around them, rather than yourself. In order to achieve this goal, first try to eliminate - as far as is humanly possible - what experts call "noise". This includes everything that distracts, be it noise in the literal sense, physical or emotional discomfort, personal problems, negative attitudes, or distracting mannerisms or dress.

Address the issues in their terms, not your terms - consider their needs and aspirations - how will they benefit by the change. Remember - When you communicate in business there is always a purpose - you want an outcome, information shared, changed behaviour or changed practice.

Choose your Communication Medium

Once you have determined the needs of your audience, then you need to consider the best way (medium) for delivering your message. Consider the following:

Craft your Message

Once you've clearly identified who is receiving your message, what their needs are and identified how best to deliver your communication, then you need to consider which words to use - those that will encourage rather than discourage change. To find a list of them, go to any search engine and type in the phrase 'persuasive words'.

"You" is the single most powerful word in persuasion techniques, because it gets the audience focussed on how the change will benefit them. It also helps you to maintain your focus on the recipient.

Ensure the Content is OK

Avoid using technical words and jargon. Match your language and style to the receiver.

Spelling mistakes, misplaced or missing punctuation marks, and case confusion distract your readers, and reduces your powers of persuasion. Don't forget to use your spellchecker. And, proofread a hard copy of your document. Then run the spellchecker again. Little things mean a lot when you're trying to persuade. Don't let them bring you down.

Check Understanding

Encourage a free flow of input from the receiver to ensure that understanding has been achieved. This can be done through requesting responses to written communications or holding meetings to discuss issues and understanding. Avoid asking "Do you understand?" as this can put people on the spot.

Get in Touch with Jump

If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.