Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills. It is what enables us to pass information to other people, and to understand what is said to us. You only have to watch a baby listening intently to its mother and trying to repeat the sounds that she makes to understand how fundamental is the urge to communicate.
Communication, at its simplest, is the act of transferring information from one place to another. It may be vocally (using voice), written (using printed or digital media such as books, magazines, websites or emails), visually (using logos, maps, charts or graphs) or non-verbally (using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of voice). In practice, it is often a combination of several of these.
Communication skills may take a lifetime to master—if indeed anyone can ever claim to have mastered them. There are, however, many things that you can do fairly easily to improve your communication skills and ensure that you are able to transmit and receive information effectively.
The Importance of Good Communication Skills
Developing your communication skills can help all aspects of your life, from your professional life to social gatherings and everything in between.
The ability to communicate information accurately, clearly and as intended, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked. It’s never too late to work on your communication skills and by doing so, you may well find that you improve your quality of life.
Communication skills are needed in almost all aspects of life:
Professionally, if you are applying for jobs or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate good communication skills.
Communication skills are needed to speak appropriately with a wide variety of people whilst maintaining good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience, listen effectively, present your ideas appropriately, write clearly and concisely, and work well in a group. Many of these are essential skills that most employers seek.
As your career progresses, the importance of communication skills increases; the ability to speak, listen, question and write with clarity and conciseness are essential for most managers and leaders.
In your personal life, good communication skills can improve your personal relationships by helping you to understand others, and to be understood.
It is almost a cliché that personal relationships need communication. Failure to talk has been blamed for the breakdown of any number of partnerships and relationships—but the ability to listen is also an important element. Communication is also vital in wider family relationships, whether you want to discuss arrangements for holidays, or ensure that your teenage children are well and happy.
Communication skills can also ensure that you are able to manage interactions with businesses and organisations
Over the course of your lifetime, you are likely to have to interact with a wide range of organisations and institutions, including shops, businesses, government offices, and schools. Good communication skills can ease these interactions, and ensure that you are able to get your point across calmly and clearly, and also take on board the responses.
In Communication Skills 1.0