What Communication Skills are required?
Formal or Informal
Not all business communication is formal. Official correspondences, such as letters to customers, or business reports, use a formal structure and professional language.
However, a lot of communication within an organisation is informal. Impromptu conversations between colleagues, most emails, text messages and instant messaging are often informal. Informal communication does not follow a prescribed structure, and may not be recorded (for example, minutes may not be produced for some informal meetings).
Verbal or Non – verbal
Communication in any context can be verbal, non-verbal or a mixture of both.
Verbal ...view middle of the document...
Pay particular attention to differences in culture, past experiences, attitudes, abilities and so on before sending a message.
* Focus on the meaning of what you want to communicate. Aim to increase understanding by considering how your message might be received.
* Encourage open and honest feedback from the receiver to ensure your message is understood and to avoid the receiver feeding back what they think you want to hear.
* Offer your personal viewpoint clearly and honestly to avoid confusion.
* Consider the emotional effect (for example, emotional stress) of what you are saying and communicate within the norms of behaviour acceptable to the other person (avoiding taboos).
* Avoid jargon and over-complicated language. Explain things as simply as possible. Request clarification if unclear about a message.
* Try to use language which you know will be understood. Use technical language cautiously and only when you are sure it will help communication.
* Avoid racist / sexist terms or language that may offend.
* Aim to communicate on an equal basis and avoid patronising people. You should be aware that a person in a client role may be feeling vulnerable and, therefore, if a worker communicates a superior attitude, this may do irreparable damage. Someone seeking help is unlikely to warm to such a worker.
* Try to ensure that everyone in an interaction is included, through effective body language and the use of open questions.
* If confidentiality is an issue, make sure that it is maintained and boundaries are known.
* Beware of giving unnecessary criticism as this can influence the perceived status between participants.
The importance of communication skills in interpersonal relationships cannot be stressed too greatly.
An understanding of the factors that influence communication and the possession of effective communication skills are necessary to anyone working in a business; the different types of non - verbal messages are equally important, and lead to a greater understanding of communication between people. To be an effective communicator, you should not only take into consideration the verbal aspects, but also the non-verbal component of the message.
Listening is a vital communication skill, but is more complex than it may seem. There is a big difference between hearing something and listening to it – listening requires an understanding of the message being communicated. In addition to this, the message may not just be in the words of the speaker; their body language may tell you more than the words, or a different story entirely.
Active listening is a very important listening skill, yet people tend to spend far more energy considering what they are going to say rather than listening to what the other person is trying to say.
The following points are essential for effective listening
* Arrange a comfortable environment conducive to the purpose of the communication, for example,...