Communication is ingrained in our everyday professional lives. Communication skills, in its very context, are the abilities we use in giving and receiving different kinds of information. It is the mastery of listening, speaking, observing and empathizing that helps us form unique and more meaningful relationships with other people. Mastery of these, through communication skills training, allows us to be more effective in face-to-face interactions, phone conversations, presentations, written conversations and social media, and even non-verbal communication.

At Dale Carnegie, we are focused on developing the interpersonal and communication skills of our students, so that they can effectively collaborate with others. Attention to communication skills is one of our core expertise in professional development. These skills have become even more valuable now that the communication channels are moving digital. Thus, mastery of the skills is crucial. 

What communication skills do we need to have

Here are some of the most important communication skills that you need to improve to not get left behind this year of big change:

1. Listening

The most important communication skill is listening. Being a good listener is essential to communicating effectively. A good communicator understands that the process is a two-way street. Communication involves understanding messages, comprehending them, and responding appropriately.

By learning how to listen proactively, and comprehend what the other party is saying, we can respond with grace and contribute fruitfully to a discussion.

2. Using non-verbal communication effectively

Often, what we do not express with words says a lot about how we feel and what we really want to communicate. Our body language helps us communicate better by aiding in the delivery of our overall message. One of the most powerful means of communicating confidence and conviction is sustained, focused eye contact. Sustained, focused eye contact makes you feel more confident and act more assertively.  It also helps that we understand the difference between eye contact and staring, as the latter can make the other person feel uncomfortable.

3. Be clear and concise

Effective communication is saying just enough. This means that we are not saying too little or too much about a given topic or within a conversation. Clarity requires that we speak our messages simply and without confusion and uncertainty. We need to be able to express our messages directly, so that our listeners may easily understand what we are trying to say.

4. Empathy

Empathy does not only fulfill the metaphor of being able to fill someone else’s shoes, it’s also being able to see and feel the world as other people would. Empathy goes beyond knowing and understanding, and into experiencing what they may be experiencing. Empathy is an essential communication skill not only because emotional intelligence is a key factor in professional success, but also because this allows us to build meaningful relationships with other people and become open to change and innovation.

5. Giving and receiving constructive feedback

The communication process is a loop. The sender sends a message to the receiver, and the receiver responds to the sender as a form of feedback. Providing feedback directly, respectfully, and clearly, serves as a guide to assist people in knowing how they and others perceive their performance. Feedback can also be very motivating and energising.

What are the most important skills you think you need to improve on from our list? Share with us your stories and feedback in the comments below.

The Dale Carnegie Course provides you with the necessary human relations skills to thrive, and build your confidence and competence in interacting with others. This training helps you communicate better and more effectively, motivate other people to take action, and create positive interpersonal synergy.

You can sign up for the Dale Carnegie Course here.