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What Can You Do To Improve Your Communication Skills

1012 words - 4 pages

Communication is humanities greatest accomplishment, however how we communicate can greatly affect the way we're understood, and how we understand others. Communication is a learned ability with many skills, which are programmed into us (for better or worse) by our parents, friends and all that we have contact with. These skills can be defined as listening, assertion and conflict resolution skills, and with all of these skills being used appropriately, we can bring down the barriers to communication, and put an end to the frustration that comes from poor communication. Like most things in this life, if you put your mind to something and practice it, you will achieve what you set out to do. Such is the case in becoming more skilled in communication.It is important to identify some of the communication spoilers so that we can avoid such major roadblocks in our relationships with others. It has been said that there are three types of communication spoilers; judging, sending solutions, and avoiding others concerns. There are many barriers that can fit into these categories, however the example of the "dirty dozen" is what is commonly known. They are: - criticising, name-calling, diagnosing, praising evaluatively, and ordering, threatening, moralising, excessive/inappropriate questioning, advising, diverting, logical argument and reassuring. While some of these responses are not always destructive to communication, when one or more of the persons communicating is under stress, the likelihood of these types of responses being harmful increases. If we are to improve our communication skills, it is necessary to learn when not to use such responses and to develop the self-control to know when we are using such things in a negative way.The most important thing in communicating is to be able to understand what is being said. It is one thing to be able to hear, but to actually listen takes more than just a pair of ears. The difference is when we are properly listening to a person, we are attending the conversation and not merely hearing the words that are spoken. Effective 'attending' skills can have a huge impact on your relationships, and they include - a posture of involvement, eye contact, appropriate body motion and to consider your environment as not to distract from the conversation. There are more skills, however, they can be grouped by the terms 'following' skills, and 'reflecting' skills. 'Following' skills include door opening questions such as "Something bad happen today? Would you like to talk about it?" Minimal encourages to keep talking such as "yes", "for instance..." etc. infrequent questions that, again, encourage the speaker to keep talking like "how does that make you feel?" and it is most important to know when to remain silent in a way that still enables you to be attentive. There are also four 'reflective' skills that help our speaker feel that they are being heard or attended to. They are -reflection of content, reflection of...

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