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Boost Your Communication Skills

» Boost Your Communication Skills

May 5th, 2009 by admin

By Dennis Kwan

Developing good communications skills is important, so that we convey our messages clearly and prevent any misunderstanding. When we have communication breakdowns at work, we spend time and energy trying to make amends. It is hard for anyone to admit that their unclear communication caused the breakdown, and thus apologize. It’s wiser to make a conscious effort to prevent communication breakdowns instead.

One way to avoid conflicts at work is to communicate clearly and frequently with your colleagues on the following:

• what you are currently doing for the company

• what are some goals you are striving for at work, and even some of your personal ones that may affect work

• some of the difficulties you are facing with customers, management, colleagues etc (without sounding like you are whining and complaining)

With the increased use of e-mails and text messages, we may forget the value of face-to-face interactions. When we communicate with a person face-to-face, we can build trust and open-ness with our verbal and non-verbal cues. We can also sense and understand the other person’s point of view and what they feel.

Use e-mails if you have specific requests or updates for a colleague, and the message can be read at their convenience. With e-mails, you can still sound cordial, instead of distance. Just a few more seconds of typing some niceties like “Have a great day!” can bring a feeling of goodwill to the reader.

At work today we tend to communicate more via e-mail and this has an impact on our interpersonal communication. For example, if you communicate your unhappiness or anger via email, pause a moment before you hit the ‘Send’ button! Cool down, review what you have written, and edit it so that it sounds more objective. Stick to the facts and avoid character attacks. Be objective and constructive. If you are criticizing something, offer a solution to improve the situation, if possible.

As you learn to communicate more effectively at work, you will be better able to achieve your goals, garner more support during setbacks, and feel much happier at work.

Communication is an art of conveying message to the other party. Imagine in the game of “Pass it on”. One has to convey the hidden message that he received to another party without uttering a word. Similarly, an email message can only convey the content over but not the emotions.

A face-to face communication is crucial. In some books, there are some eye assessing cues that tell us the eye can indicate the truth being said by the party.

In fact, 55% of the communication is actually done through visual communication. 38% is done through vocal communication. The remaining 7% will be through verbal communication. This clearly indicates that the body language – a combination of visual & verbal gives a very high percentage while communicating with one another.

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Dennis Kwan is a trainer, speaker, author, a volunteer at Changi prison and also a Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner, Hypno-Therapist, Time-line Practitioner. He graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Commerce. He is also certified in Project Management Professional (PMP), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Certified ISO 9001:2000 Auditor. For more information, please visit his website or email him at []

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