Understanding the Basics of Communication Skills
Many people nowadays lack communication skills. They have a lot to say, but
cannot convey it effectively due to inhibitions. These skills are needed to
develop good relationships with your dear ones, co-workers, managers and also
with customers. In fact this is the age of communication.
1 Know what communication really is. Communication is the process of
transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver through various
methods (written words, nonverbal cues, spoken words). It is also the mechanism
we use to establish and modify relationships.
2 Have courage to say what you think. Be confident in knowing that you can make
worthwhile contributions to conversation. Take time each day to be aware of your
opinions and feelings so you can adequately convey them to others. Individuals
who are hesitant to speak because they do not feel their input would be
worthwhile need not fear. What is important or worthwhile to one person may not
be to another and may be more so to someone else. Read books and Just BE aware
of the surroundings and environment and keep yourself abreast of the latest news
and happenings in your society, company, country and the world.
3. Make eye contact. Whether you are speaking or listening, looking into the
eyes of the person with whom you are conversing can make the interaction more
successful. Eye contact conveys interest and encourages your partner to be
interested in you in return. One technique to help with this is to consciously
look into one of the listener’s eyes and then move to the other eye. Going back
and forth between the two makes your eyes appear to sparkle. Another trick is to
imagine a letter “T” on the listener’s face ,with the cross bar being an
imaginary line across the eye brows and the vertical line coming down the center
of the nose. Keep your eyes scanning that “T” zone.
4 Use gestures. These include gestures with your hands and face. Make your whole
body talk. Use smaller gestures for individuals and small groups. The gestures
should get larger as the group that one is addressing increases in size.
5 Manifest constructive attitudes and beliefs. The attitudes you bring to
communication will have a huge impact on the way you compose yourself and
interact with others. Choose to be honest, patient, optimistic, sincere,
respectful, and accepting of others. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings,
and believe in others’ competence.
6 Develop effective listening skills: Not only should one be able to speak
effectively, one must listen to the other person’s words and engage in
communication on what the other person is speaking about. Avoid the impulse to
listen only for the end of their sentence so that you can blurt out the ideas or
memories your mind while the other person is speaking. First seek to understand
to develop rapport and then use courage to be understood.
7. Enunciate your words. Speak clearly and don’t mumble. If people are always
asking you to repeat yourself, try to do a better job of articulating yourself
in a better manner.
8. Slow your speech down. People will perceive you as nervous and unsure of
yourself if you talk fast. However, be careful not to slow down to the point
where people begin to finish your sentences just to help you finish.
9. Develop your voice – A high or whiny voice is not perceived to be one of
authority. In fact, a high and soft voice can make you sound like prey to an
aggressive co-worker or make others not take you seriously. Begin doing
exercises to lower the pitch of your voice. Use a volume that is appropriate for
the setting. Speak more softly when you are alone and close. Speak louder when
you are speaking to larger groups or across larger spaces.
Saraswati is the Goddess of speech. Chanting her Gayatri mantra helps developing
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