- What Makes Excellent Communication Skills Important?
- 7 Benefits of Effective Communication in Personal and Professional Settings
- How to Become an Effective Communicator
- 5 Books on How to Develop Good Communication Skills
- Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
- How to talk to anyone by Leil Lowndes
- On Becoming Fearless...in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Talking to 'Crazy': How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life by Mark Goulston
- Models of Communication
With all those people-oriented technologies and social networks rising, our modern world is all about communication. That’s why your ability to communicate matters if you want to become successful. This detailed guide will not only explain to you why you need to improve your ability to communicate but also tell you how to change your personal and professional life dramatically with the help of communication.
What Makes Excellent Communication Skills Important?
Being able to communicate is often called one of the most important soft skills, and there’s a reason for that. First of all, if you think about it, every process in our life is related to communication at some point, and it's not necessarily verbal communication. It's the ability to listen and ask the right questions that make people select specific employers while declining other job offers, it's the nonverbal signals that attract a person to a stranger at a party, it's the eye contact that helps you realize how your friend feels at the moment even if they are silent. And the importance of communication skills becomes even more obvious if you add up words into all that.
7 Benefits of Effective Communication in Personal and Professional Settings
- It increases your chances of getting the job you want on your terms.
- It helps with developing your leadership skills and getting a better position among your friends, co-workers, or any other team members.
- It brings you new networking and career opportunities and eases your daily teamwork.
- It lets you understand people way better and also be more understandable, not only verbally but also by your facial expressions and other signals that you send while having nonverbal communication.
- It shows you how to remain good relationships with people all the time, even during an argument.
- It eases your pain while interacting with organizations and institutions, no matter which level of bureaucracy they are at.
- It boosts your grades by making both your studies and your interactions with your professors easier.
- It saves your time and energy that you would have wasted on poor communication followed by misunderstandings, guilt, and anxiety.
How to Become an Effective Communicator
Let's all agree that communication, no matter if it's something related to your personal life or a business conversation with co-workers via Linkedin, is not only about successfully exchanging information. The critical part of it is actually about what's behind this information. And there's always an emotion, tone of voice, intention, eye contact, hand gestures, even a mood of someone you're speaking with. But don’t let the complexity of this process freak you out, here are three things you need to know.
Are You Listening or Hearing?
We have different words for hearing and listening for a reason. People want not only to be heard but also to be listened to. That’s why listening and especially active listening is one of the most valuable talents. In this time of excessive consumption of content, attention is a willing and even flattering resource, so there's no surprise people seek it. Ask for clarification if needed, pay attention to the details, and make eye contact while talking. Show off that you're a good listener. Also, don't overwhelm yourself by having several interactions with different people at a time and pay enough attention to another person’s nonverbal signals.
Share Your Emotions
Do you know that great salespersons tend to smile even while they're on their phones? That's because they know how important an attitude is, and they know how to use their interpersonal skills for their benefit. People will feel your emotions anyway, even if it's not a face-to-face conversation, so make sure you are not suppressing your feelings and thoughts but sharing them wisely. Act positively, use your body language to reinforce your statements, and try to engage people into communicating with you by your speech being emotional yet informative.
Tell Your Story
Speaking of informativeness, don't forget that storytelling is a huge thing. You can also try to engage people's emotions with storytelling. This powerful technique is always used not only by people but also by brands and even government institutions which only reflects its persuasiveness. It may help you establish some common ground, express your opinion, and also engage others. The nicest thing about storytelling probably is that you can use it in any kind of situation: at home, at work, among your friends, and also in your academic life. You use your communication skills everywhere but the question is how do you use them.
5 Books on How to Develop Good Communication Skills
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
This book will be very helpful especially if you're an empathetic person willing to build up mutually beneficial relationships and end up with effective communication skills. There are lots of useful tips and tricks, also a huge amount of motivation that will lead you to effective communication even if you're a kind of an introvert preferring to avoid being proactive.
How to talk to anyone by Leil Lowndes
There are 92 easy and effective techniques listed in this book that will cause a drastic change in your life, especially in everything related to public speaking and listening skills. It may seem these tips are basic but in fact, they are essential. So yes, you can call this a fundamental guide on how to communicate effectively and develop leadership skills, from the first impression to great business deals.
On Becoming Fearless...in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington
Written by a woman for women (but not only for them), this book explains the mechanism hidden behind any fear paralyzing females in modern society and preventing them from improving self-esteem. This horror is an understandable result of ages of discrimination and oppression, yet it doesn't mean women should accept it without even trying to overcome it. That's why Arianna Huffington describes various proven ways for taking over the fear, implementing great communication strategies, and also making the most out of every situation.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Yeah, this one is a true classic, and that's why you need to read it. No cliches, no wasting your time, no supposed-to-be-inspiring quotes, just a really useful manual on how to act around people in personal life and business communication. All you need to know about human psychology, but eased.
Talking to 'Crazy': How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life by Mark Goulston
It may feel unfair but yes, you have to communicate effectively with different people, and some of them are almost unbearable to interact with. Top-ranked psychiatrist and communication expert Mark Goulston not only explains why people act the way they do from a scientific point of view but also provides some useful tips on how to use important skills to take advantage of their behavior, no matter how strange and irrational it seems to you.
Models of Communication
Some people consider building effective interaction an intuitive talent, which is actually a huge mistake. Perceiving the ability to communicate effectively as a pre-installed setting limits people and keeps them from improving themselves. Keep your mind open and think of it as of a changeable set of tools so that you could use different communication models.
Aristotle’s Communication Model
This one is old but gold, dating back to 300BC. It basically is focused on how to become a better communicator, improve your skillset, and be as convincing and engaging as possible. To analyze your communication in the terms of this model, you should take a look at five basic elements: speaker, speech, occasion, target audience, and effect. There are also three things that will improve communication, according to Aristotle: ethos (which means credibility), pathos (which stands for an ability to connect), and logos (which means logical argument).
Shannon-Weaver Communication Model
One of the most popular communication models widely accepted all over the world and highly ranked by lots of top experts in communications. There are also five key parts here, yet they differentiate from the ones in Aristotle's model: sender, encoder, channel, decoder, receiver. As you can see, what makes this model revolutionary is the highlighted importance of encoding and decoding messages for the sake of them being sent and accepted properly within good communication. This model also reflects "noises" interrupting people and distracting them from communication and taking their skills into action to reduce the “noises”.
Osgood-Schramm Communication Model
There's no difference between the sender and receiver within this model because this model pictures them both as message encoders and decoders at the same time. It may be useful when it comes to analyzing personal communication, such as texting or chatting in real life, or any other case when you get feedback immediately and have not only to broadcast but also to get signals at once. You’ll need some specific skills to succeed in such communication.
Dance’s Helical Communication Model
Imagine good communication has a form, which one it is? According to this model, it's a helix with a smooth curve, like a spring. It actually perfectly shows the meaning of feedback in any communication: as we say something and receive replies, we change our statements due to the reactions we get in the form of words, eye contact, gestures, and other nonverbal signals. Each and every cycle of communication makes us more knowledgeable and skilled, so we basically learn and improve immediately, right as we go. We also "expand" our circle step by step, being able to develop any communication and increase its complexity while interacting with people.
Berlo's Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of Communication
As the name of this model says, it explains communication in four steps: Source, Message, Channel, and Receiver. Each and every element matters: from the communication skills of both the sender and the receiver, their attitude, their culture, and knowledge to the message content and structure, as well as the channel features, like senses of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, etc.