Great Communication Skills
There are several and the most important one is LISTENING!
Yes, the most important communication skill is not how you speak, nor is it articulating, or focusing on your message but the most important skill of all is listening to the other person. You may ask how this can be. How can a salesperson, a teacher, a parent, a boss, be expected to get their message across by listening to the other person? It’s because nobody wants to listen to what you have to say UNLESS they believe that you will also listen to them. And to do that, you may have to listen first – before trying to get your message across. (Unless of course, it’s an urgent message like, “Fire – run quickly, right now!”) Don’t just take my word for it – try it (listening, not escaping from a fire)!
Listening is not just staying silent! Staying silent can come across as “not listening”, “being sulky”, ignoring the speaker”, “disinterested”. To really count as listening to someone, you have to:
look at them – really look and concentrate on what they are saying
smile or at least LOOK interested in what they have to say
don’t interrupt (this can be very hard!)
There are some even more advanced skills you can also practise when trying to show someone that you are listening to them. These include having a “listening attitude”, this means that you are facing the person (not turned away), nodding as they are speaking, using little “nonsense” or “filler” sounds, such as “mmhh hmm”, “yes”, “I see” etc., while they are speaking and occasionally repeating back to them what they have said, in different words. This is not just parroting what they said, but putting it in a slightly different way, while still keeping the meaning.
What are good communication skills? What is the best single communication skill you can learn? How do you learn it?