Ever noticed that most job posts require applicants to have “excellent communications skills”? In most cases this requirement often goes before any other, even before the educational background qualifications. Human Resource Personnel know that applicants will more or less have the same technical skills an educational know how, but the winning factor is having the best communication skills.
Communication is simply important in virtually everything, family life, school, friends, and all other relationships. The way we speak to our children, parents, friends and family members are proven to either make or break the relationships we keep. By having good skills in communications, arguments and fights are less likely to happen between people.
Businesses thrive on good communication on an everyday basis as well. Upper management communication to impart to subordinates their plans for the company. Different communication channels are being used in the work place. From the conventional ones like phone calls, emails, notes and memos; to more recent forms such as using social media- like Twitter or Facebook wherein policies, reports and proposals as well as grievances are passed throughout the company by means of effective communication through these different channels.
The employees at the front lines of the businesses must also master the art of communication when interacting with customers. The sales team and customer care representatives are often the first one a client speaks with and is a representative of the whole company. The way they speak to a customer will also mirror how the company treats its customer.
People are taught to speak and express themselves at a very early age. However, as proven in society, problems in communicating effectively exist and often cause huge and complicated problems. If we think about it, language is taught to be read and written but listening and talking is something not formally taught to us in school. This comes naturally. Rather, the proper decorum involving speaking and listening is only taught to us within the social circles we are involved in, like within our families and friends.
Communication has many facets. And to be effective in communicating, one is to understand what encompasses the communication process and what are the things that make communicating effective or ineffective.
Skills in communication are more than just your ability to listen and speak. The way our body responds to someone speaking, the gestures we do when we respond, our facial expressions and voice tone also form part. When we fully commit to actively listening to the person we are talking to, we are able respond properly and accordingly, and we also better understand what the message is being imparted to us. This is effective listening.
Most people are crazy with multitasking. However, multitasking in itself may harm the course of good communication. When you are talking on the phone for instance, and simultaneously answering an email as well, your attention is divided between the person you are talking to and the email you are composing. This is a form of ineffective communication, when you do not fully immerse yourself in the conversation you are having. The tendency of this is for the information being passed to you, to go in on one ear and out the other. Much time is wasted in these kinds of conversations. You spend more time going back and forth without understanding much of the things spoken to you; hence the conversation does not end. Instead of completing more tasks in shorter time, it takes longer to complete the simple tasks because the lack of focus.
The ability to listen and speak is something you will learn even as a little kid. But the skill of actively hearing and talking effectively are skills that you will hone later on. You will also learn that communication skills are one of the most important skills you can have, that you can use in all the aspects of your life.