Communication Skills

Definition of COMMUNICATION:

“The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

We communicate everyday and in many forms. Some of those forms include:

  • Verbal (You listen to a person to understand their meaning)
  • Non-Verbal (Observe a person and determine their meaning)
  • Written (Read their meaning)

When we communicate we want to make sure our message is heard and coming across the right way.  When they don’t things can go very wrong.  To help us along the way I have some communication tips to help with improving our communication skills.

According to the 7 Cs, communication needs to be:

  1. Clear -When writing or speaking to someone, be clear about your goal or message. What is your purpose in communicating with this person? If you’re not sure, then your audience won’t be either.
    To be clear, try to minimize the number of ideas in each sentence. Make sure that it’s easy for your reader to understand your meaning. People shouldn’t have to “read between the lines” and make assumptions on their own to understand what you’re trying to say.
  • Concise -When you’re concise in your communication, you stick to the point and keep it brief. Your audience doesn’t want to read six sentences when you could communicate your message in three. Ask yourself:
    • Are there any unnecessary sentences?
    • Have you repeated the point several times, in different ways?

    Are there any adjectives or “filler words” that you can delete? You can often eliminate words like “for instance,” “you see,” “definitely,” “kind of,” “literally,” “basically,” or “I mean.”

  • Concrete – When your message is concrete, your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them. There are details (but not too many!) and vivid facts, and there’s laser-like focus. Your message is solid.
  • Correct -When your communication is correct, your audience will be able to understand it. And correct communication is also error-free communication. Make sure your message is correct by asking yourself the following questions:
    • Do the technical terms you use fit your audience’s level of education or knowledge?
    • Have you checked your writing for grammatical errors? (Remember, spell checkers won’t catch everything).
    • Are all names and titles spelled correctly?
  • Coherent – When your communication is coherent, it’s logical. All points are connected and relevant to the main topic, and the tone and flow of the text is consistent.
  • Complete -In a complete message, the audience has everything they need to be informed and, if applicable, take action.
    • Does your message include a “call to action,” so that your audience clearly knows what you want them to do?
    • Have you included all relevant information – contact names, dates, times, locations, and so on?
  • Courteous – Courteous communication is friendly, open and honest. There are no hidden insults or passive-aggressive tones. You keep your reader’s viewpoint in mind, and you’re empathetic to their needs.

Do you have any additional tips on proper communication?

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