People often think of communication skills as something innate and that they could take for granted. But how is communication important, and how does it affect our career, love, and life in general?
Communication plays a crucial role in human life. Not only do we use it in our day-to-day living, but having this skill also has unimaginable impacts on our lives. That said, having good communication skills and being able to communicate effectively is one of the most essential life skills to learn.
In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about communication, how it could affect your life in general, and tips on how to improve your communication skills.
What You Will Learn on This Page
What is Communication Skills?
Communication skills are the skills that a person uses to communicate, listen, observe, and empathize with other people through verbal and non-verbal communication.
To set things straight, communication is not merely just exchanging words. It also involves non-verbal communication that refers to your body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal signals.
The truth, however, is that while everyone can have an exchange of words with someone or have verbal communication, not everyone can effectively communicate.
The same is true for non-verbal communication, which is even harder to master.
To simplify things, having good communication skills does not only mean that you understand what the other person is saying. But it also involves your ability to absorb the information provided, communicate it through written or spoken words and understand the other person’s perception.
It also means that you can understand and listen to non-verbal cues that a person is trying to say to you. Learn how to read actions and body language.
These abilities are pretty simple and necessary for everyday life. Your job, life, social interactions, and every other part of your life can benefit from improving your communication abilities. Unfortunately, not everyone has these abilities.
Types of Communication Skills
There are various communication skills, and they can best be divided into four groups: verbal, non-verbal, and written. Below, we will discuss each group to better understand communication.
- Verbal Communication: With verbal communication being the most common type of communication, it is unquestionable that everyone can communicate. The problem, however, is not everyone can do it effectively. Be it face-to-face conversations, over phone conversations, or video conferencing, it is vital that you can receive and give information accurately and effectively. Overall verbal skills can easily be improved with practice.
- Non-verbal Communication: Studies show that 60% of communication is done verbally. Facial expressions, nods, and other physical movements are non-verbal communication. That said, you must learn how to pay attention to a person’s body language and non-verbal gestures as much as you would pay attention to a person’s words.
- Written Communication: Written communication involves using the written word to communicate with others. Unknown to many, this is one of the most critical communication skills to master, especially in today’s world, where everything is communicated through chat, texting, and email.
Suppose you can master these three types of communication skills. In that case, it is no doubt that you can be effective in communicating. Take things slowly.
Practice one at a time. Remember, slow progress is still progress. The most important thing is that you get to reach the ultimate goal.
Importance of Having Good Communication Skills
Communication skills have various advantages, many of which might not be evident but significantly impact love, career, and daily life.
That said, being to convey information effectively, clearly, and as intended is a vital life skill that everyone should have:
Below are some points that show the importance of communication skills.
- It helps build and enhance your personal relationships.
Communication plays a huge role in building your personal relationships, even more so in enhancing them. When you see someone you want to befriend with, you talk to that person.
While talking can be easy, effective communication can possibly lead to making friends.
Likewise, since your body language conveys what you are thinking, people with good communication skills can interpret these actions very wisely.
Using the same example, if you’re trying to befriend someone who reciprocates the energy of you getting to know him. There’s a huge chance that that person is also interested in making friends with you.
However, people who have poor communication skills might not be able to receive this message.
Additionally, communication also helps develop empathy. Effective communicators can view things from other people’s perspectives as it is about putting forth your feelings and thoughts. Which is a great deal in building personal relationships.
- It strengthens love connections.
Though it has nearly become a cliche, love indeed requires communication. Many marriages and relationships have failed due to a lack of communication or the inability to have effective communication.
That said, your communication style and effectiveness are essential in any relationship because they enable you to speak your thoughts, emotions, and expectations clearly.
Likewise, relationships require two people, each with unique communication needs and preferences. Finding a communication strategy that works for a couple’s relationship might be complicated but is very important.
People are not mind-readers. That is why, no matter how well you know and love each other! You must speak clearly and effectively to prevent miscommunications that can lead to rage, resentment, or confusion.
This ultimately tells us that if we want a love connection to last, we should work on our communication skills to have a healthy communication style.
That can help us deal with disagreements and forge a more robust, more beneficial relationship.
- It will help you land a promising career.
Having good communication skills will help you a lot in your career. Regardless of your career path, you will certainly need to show that you have strong communication skills if you’re seeking a job or a promotion.
This is because regardless of the role you’re applying for — whether a managerial position or a janitorial one, you must communicate well with a wide range of people.
You can listen well, express your ideas clearly and succinctly, and work with others when you have good communication skills. While this may look simple, most employers look for these abilities.
Effects of Poor Communication Skills
Now that you know the importance of having good communication skills. We will now tackle how poor communication skills affect someone’s career, love, and life.
- It can ruin relationships.
Miscommunication, which can cause poor communication skills, can ruin relationships – both professional and personal. Unfortunately, one small communication mistake can complicate your life.
When you communicate poorly, you may not be able to understand what someone truly means and could end up interpreting it in another way. This might make you feel irritated, angry, distant, and perplexed, significantly when you cannot place the exact point at which the conversation fails.
In personal relationships, the effects of poor communication skills can threaten the existence of the relationship itself.
This is especially true for people in a long-distance relationship or whose usual conversation is through messaging when the emotion and body language of the other person are not seen.
This may leave people feeling like the other person is not listening, leading to constant arguing and being unsure of your position in the relationship. Poor communication also results from incorrect assumptions leading to unnecessary worry, fear, and stress.
- It can cost you your career.
Most professions these days will require you to provide official presentations, including informal and intimate contacts. Lack of understanding causes worry, which leads to low self-esteem and unwillingness.
This is especially true for careers that require you to interact with clients and potential customers. You may not be able to address your customer’s concerns without good communication skills.
Unfortunately, when you cannot fulfill a customer’s concern, your customer’s initial reaction is to get mad, which will cause a stressful conversation exchange. Remember that a stressful atmosphere discourages productivity.
Often, bad customer service is caused by the lack of effective communication on the part of the service provider. However, it is also essential to note that in this situation, customers may also be the ones who are unable to understand and communicate effectively.
Communication is not only helpful in communicating with clients but, more importantly, with your superiors, coworkers, and employees. In the long term, frequent miscommunication may harm your professional connections and career.
Signs of Poor Communication Skills
Not being able to convey what you mean or having a hard time understanding what other people mean can cause you to feel frustrated and confused.
That said, you must identify the signs of poor communication in yourself so you can address them. If you can identify these signs in other people, it will help you understand the situation better.
Here are some common signs of poor communication that you should watch out for in yourself or others.
- Passive listening instead of active listening
- Yelling or screaming
- Dismissing other people’s points of view
- Not being clear about expectations, needs, or wants
- Given the silent treatment
- Ignoring other people’s points of view
Tips on How to Improve Communication Skills
The more time and practice you put into improving your communication skills, like with other learned abilities, the more progress you’ll notice.
You may learn a lot of strategies in everyday talks to increase the chances of productive life, love, and career relationships.
- Think before you speak.
Always take a moment to think before you speak and avoid speaking immediately after thinking. Observe your words and your delivery for a time. You can avoid awkward situations by developing this one behavior.
- Communicate promptly.
Clean lines of communication are the key to clarity. A sign of effective leadership and communication is a rapid response to people. Integrity, respect, and leadership are demonstrated by fast and clear communication. As a team leader, you will develop their regard for this principle as a skill.
People desire a sense of being heard. The individual speaking to you right now should be your top priority. Instead of preparing your reply, pay attention to what the other person is saying. To prevent misconceptions, request clarification.
Moreover, the idea of only having one discussion at a time is crucial. This means that you shouldn’t reply to an email or send a text message while on the phone with someone. The other person will understand that she is not the center of your attention.
- Observe nonverbal signals
Significance of facial emotions, tone, pace, and volume. You might observe what their entire body is saying. The importance of body language and other visual clues in communication is equal to that of spoken words.
Likewise, you should also consider your posture. “If you don’t have the proper posture and look that you’re paying attention to, people pick up on it,” Malloy warns.
- Be brief yet specific.
Practice being brief but specific in written and vocal communication so that the other person can grasp what you are trying to express. Additionally, while writing an email response, make sure to read the whole email before you respond. With enough repetition, you will become adept at not droning on or providing too much information.
There are many advantages to having good communication skills, many of which may not be immediately apparent but have a significant impact on life in general. Likewise, there are also a lot of negative things that could happen due to the lack thereof.
That said, it is important that you continuously try to improve and recalibrate your communication skills. Regardless of which way you choose in life, love, and career, being an effective communicator will take you to great lengths.
Through communication, we get to interact with others, express how we feel, and speak what we think is right. It is only justifiable why we have to strive hard to be good communicators.
Imagine a world without miscommunication and misunderstanding! What a sight to behold.