How to Develop Effective Communication Skills
How to Develop Effective Communication Skills
By Bhudeb Chakrabarti
If any men were to ask me what I would suppose to be a perfect language , I would answer that in which a man speaking to five hundred people of all common and various capacities should be understood by them all in the same sense which the speaker intended to be understood ~ Robinson Crusoe
Essence of Communication
Conveying effectively what you intend to convey, without leaving it subject to interpretation, is the essence of communication.
Communication is a part of our social, cultural and professional life; it holds the key to good relationships. Better communication helps in developing understanding relationships. People are generally comfortable talking to those with whom they can talk in an open manner.
It takes two to speak the truth, one to speak and another to hear. – Henry David Thoreau
Communication facilitates the coordination of work in organisations.
Effective communication is an essential Leadership skill. Good leaders, not only share their ideas, but are also able to transmit a sense of urgency or enthusiasm that motivates others to act on the ideas.
Barriers to effective communication
Interpersonal barriers to communication
The interpersonal barriers cause more problems .We have to remember the human element in the process of communication. These are as follows:
All people are not same .They have different backgrounds of knowledge and experience and perceive the same phenomenon from different perspectives. Patience and empathy should be the key to establish proper rapport.
Credibility of communicator
If a person tells someone to do a thing which he or she does not do, his or her message will not have the proper impact. Example is better than the precept.
Defensive communication leads to a set of chain reactions of defensiveness hampering effective communication. Communication should be open and frank.
Communication is not only speaking but listening. Keith Davis said, “Decision makers who do not listen have less information for making sound decision”.
Organisational barriers to communication
This inbuilt barrier can be overcome to a great extent by the participative process.
Some managers hesitate to consult their group members due to the perception that the others may think that they do not know their job. Managers who consult their group are often in a better position to make a sound decision.
Specialists who think themselves superior due to their knowledge may end up creating a communication gap, as compared to those who work together with esprit-de-corps .
How to develop communication skills
“A leader’s number one problem today can be summed up in one word: Communication.” Communication and interpersonal skills involve writing clearly, speaking well and listening intently.
Here are some simple tips for good writing
- Use words to give full picture of your ideas than abstract words.
- Write simple lines, not too long winding sentences .
- Do not use two words when one is enough .
- Have proper paragraphs .
- Relate to the experiences with whom you are communicating.
- Try to express, not to impress.
- Work hard to write well. ”Good sentences are not written but rewritten.”
Qualities of a good speaker
Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of ”Treasure Island” mentioned some attributes of a good speaker.
- Prepare what to talk, how to talk, how to begin and when to end .
- Do not talk endlessly. The Law of Diminishing Returns operates in this case.
- Develop a warm relationship with the people you talk to.
Hints for effective listening
Communication is not only speaking but also listening. Keith Davis laid down following hints for effective listening .
- Stop talking. You cannot listen if you are talking.
- Help a person feel free to talk .
- Show a person that you want to listen.
- Empathise with him or her .
- Be patient.
Nature gave people two ears but only one tongue with a gentle hint that we should listen more than talk .
Ending this post with a quote by Emerson.
Must we always talk for victory and never once for truth, for comfort and joy .
This article is contributed by Bhudeb Chakrabarti, Dy IG (Retd) CRPF. He has commanded several Operational and Administrative functions in the force and has imparted training to gazetted officers of CRPF and other central & state police forces.
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- Management- James A.F.Stoner and Charles Wankel (Prentice –Hall )
- Management-Leon C. Megginson(Harper Row )
- The Practice of Management-Peter F. Drucker (Pan Books )
- Human Behaviour at Work-Keith Davis (McGraw Hill )