THE ART OF GIVING AND RECEIVING COMPLIMENTS

It was a sunny afternoon at the office, and Sneha had just completed a presentation that she had poured her heart and soul into. As she returned to her desk, still riding the adrenaline rush, her colleague, Mike, approached with a beaming smile.

MIke began enthusiastically by saying, “Sarah, that presentation was… “ but then he could not find the right words and trailed off.

Sarah, eager to receive feedback, leaned in expectantly.

So Mike continued, “I mean, it was like watching a documentary on quantum physics… in a foreign language!”

Sarah’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. She had aimed for clarity, not complexity.

“But don’t get me wrong,” Mike added to cover up, sensing Sarah’s confusion. “It’s just… you made it sound so… good despite it being not so good!”

Sneha couldn’t help but chuckle awkwardly. That wasn’t exactly the response she had anticipated.

” Uh…Thank you, I guess,” she managed, still processing the unusual compliment.

While Mike was trying to be supportive and his compliments were well intentioned, his choice of words made the whole interaction awkward

Compliments, which are frequently regarded as small tokens of appreciation, are far more powerful than they appear. These words of encouragement have the power to brighten someone’s day, boost their confidence, and build stronger bonds.

When given sincerely and thoughtfully, compliments can create a positive ripple effect, leaving a lasting impression on both personal and professional relationships. Understanding the different aspects of offering and receiving compliments is therefore fundamental in spreading goodwill and cultivating positive connections.

In this blog we’ll look at the art of sincerity, the power of specificity, the importance of timing, and the value of remaining professional. Whether you want to make someone’s day or improve your relationships, these tips will help you master the art of compliments, ensuring that your kind words always hit the mark.

1. How to Give a Genuine Compliment

How to give a genuine compliment

Offering a genuine compliment is an art, and when done right, it can brighten someone’s day. The key to giving a sincere compliment lies in its specificity. One should focus on character and accomplishments, sincerity, and seamless integration into conversation. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects to master the art of complimenting effectively.

Be specific and highlight details

A generic compliment does not have the same impact as one that is well thought out and specifically tailored for a person. Instead of saying, “You did a great job,” say, “I was truly impressed by the way you handled that project, especially how you streamlined the process and increased efficiency. It made a significant difference.” Specific compliments demonstrate that you’ve paid attention and your words carry more weight.

Compliment character and accomplishments, not just appearances

If you find someone’s appearance attractive, sure, go ahead and compliment them on that, but realise that while acknowledging someone’s appearance can be appropriate and appreciated, a more profound compliment focuses on character and accomplishments.

Instead of simply commenting on someone’s outfit, try, “Your dedication to your work is truly admirable. It’s evident in the quality of your contributions.” Complimenting character and achievements goes beyond the surface and reveals a genuine appreciation for who the person is and what they’ve done.

Be sincere and not overly effusive

Instead of saying, “You’re the absolute best,” say, “Your dedication and attention to detail make a remarkable difference in our team’s success.” People can sense when a compliment is insincere or fake, so instead of exaggeration, express your admiration truthfully. Authenticity enhances the value of your compliment.

Fit compliments naturally into conversation

Timing and context matter when delivering compliments. Compliments should fit naturally into the flow of the conversation and not feel forced or out of place. For instance, if you’re discussing a project’s success, it’s appropriate to say, “Your exceptional teamwork played a vital role in this achievement.” The compliment should enhance the ongoing conversation, not disrupt it.

At the same time, it is important to know the person you compliment and consider their comfort. Some people may prefer private compliments, while others crave public acknowledgment. So, you should respect the recipient’s preference and give a genuine compliment accordingly.

2. How to Receive a Compliment Gracefully

How to receive compliments gracefully

Receiving a compliment gracefully is as important as giving one. It not only acknowledges the giver’s kindness but also strengthens the bonds of communication and respect. To accept compliments in a better way, consider these key steps: make eye contact and smile, give a simple “thank you,” avoid diminishing or rejecting the compliment, and share a detail about the backstory if relevant.

Make eye contact and smile

When someone pays you a compliment, one of the simplest yet most effective ways to show appreciation is by making eye contact and offering a warm smile. This is a non-verbal response that conveys that you’ve heard and acknowledged the compliment. It also shows you’re receptive to positive feedback and appreciate the kind words.

Give a simple “thank you”

Whenever somebody compliments you, be it on your appearance or your abilities, you say “thank you” almost automatically. A straightforward and heartfelt “thank you” is the best response to a compliment. A genuine “thank you” demonstrates humility and gratitude; it shows that you value the giver’s words and the effort they put into recognizing your qualities or accomplishments.

While being the most effortless way to receive a compliment, a “thank you” is also the sweetest one.

You can also refer to this article for different ways to say Thankyou :

Different Ways to Say “Thank You”

Don’t diminish or reject the compliment

If someone praises your work, don’t respond, “Oh, it wasn’t that great; I made so many mistakes.” Diminishing a compliment by downplaying your achievements or, even worse, deflecting it with self-criticism shows your lack of confidence. It not only contradicts the compliment but can make the giver feel unheard.

There will be a lot of people willing to pull you down; you don’t need to do that to yourself. So, when you receive a compliment, don’t just accept it; be gracious and own it.

Share a detail about the backstory if relevant

If someone gives you a compliment and you have a backstory that adds to it, don’t keep it to yourself; go ahead and share it. For instance, if someone compliments your cooking, you can say, “Thank you! I spent hours experimenting with new recipes to get it just right.”

This adds depth to the compliment and shows how engaged you are in the conversation while also providing the giver with insight into your efforts and dedication. However, do not launch into a full-fledged story; a brief anecdote is more than enough.

3. Compliment Etiquette in the Workplace

Compliment etiquette in the workplace

Compliments in the workplace can be powerful tools for motivation, team building, and overall morale. However, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism and navigate the dynamics of the professional environment effectively. Here are key aspects of compliment etiquette in the workplace:

Keep compliments professional

In a professional setting, compliments should be kept strictly professional. This means avoiding overly personal or intimate compliments. Although it may be well-intentioned to compliment someone on their appearance or work attire, it is usually preferable to draw attention to one’s professional accomplishments, actions, or behaviors.

For instance, you could compliment a colleague’s presentation rather than their appearance by saying, “Your presentation was well-prepared and delivered with confidence.”

Focus on work achievements, not personal attributes

In the workplace, compliments should mainly highlight contributions, abilities, and accomplishments related to the job. Recognizing personal attributes such as appearance, personality, or personal life can sometimes be misinterpreted or considered inappropriate.

For example, it’s more suitable to compliment a colleague’s problem-solving skills or teamwork, as it directly pertains to their professional role and performance.

Be sensitive to power dynamics

When giving compliments at work, it’s essential to consider power dynamics. Make sure your compliments don’t come across as an attempt to control or exert influence. When complimenting superiors, maintain a balance between genuine recognition and not coming off as if you are trying to butter them up.

On the other hand, make sure to encourage and uplift subordinates without coming across as patronizing. A positive workplace culture is fostered by sensitivity to power dynamics.

Spread compliments around the team

While it’s common to appreciate outstanding individual efforts, remember to spread compliments equitably throughout the team. Recognizing all team members’ contributions, regardless of their roles, creates a sense of inclusivity and teamwork. For example, after a successful project, express your appreciation not only to the project lead but also to the team members who supported the effort.

Compliment etiquette ensures that these positive interactions are respectful and conducive to a productive work environment. You can use compliments as a powerful tool for encouraging a team culture by keeping compliments professional, focusing on work achievements, being sensitive to power dynamics, and spreading compliments throughout the team.

Conclusion (150 words)

Genuine compliments are like small gifts that can make a big difference in someone’s day, and giving genuine compliments is definitely a skill worth working on.

You should be specific and sincere in your compliments, maintain professionalism in the workplace, and graciously accept compliments with a simple “thank you.”

Compliments are not mere words; they are gestures of appreciation and acknowledgment, serving as reminders that our efforts and qualities are recognized and valued. So make compliments a part of your daily interactions. By sharing sincere compliments freely, and recognizing the achievements and qualities of those you interact with, you contribute to a more encouraging and uplifting world, one kind word at a time.

Recommended Reading:

Corporate Communication Skills: A Complete Guide

How to Manage Difficult Conversations

How do you tell a coworker who also happens to be a friend that his performance is not up to the mark? Do you straight away go and say this to his face and pull off the band-aid at once, or do you start dropping hints and then gradually share your opinions, or do you keep avoiding the conversation?

According to a study done by a workplace resource company, Bravely, 70% of employees are avoiding difficult conversations at work.

And why is that? Because most of us are either not aware of the importance of having those difficult conversations or of the correct way to approach them.

Importance of Managing Difficult Conversations

Importance of Managing Difficult Conversations

Conflict Resolution

The need to have difficult conversations often arises from conflicts or disagreements. Effectively managing these discussions can lead to resolution, fostering a better understanding of differing perspectives and finding common ground.

Relationship Preservation:

Many times, we see relationships deteriorating because people do not have the courage to open up and discuss what’s bugging them. Even if done subtly or subconsciously, avoiding difficult conversations creates toxicity, resentment, and emotional baggage over months and years. That’s why one needs to respectfully hash out concerns to prevent wounds from deepening and relationships from eroding over time.

Clarity and Understanding:

When differences of opinion emerge on significant matters, people start walking on eggshells instead of talking issues through. This leads to miscommunication and prevents the misunderstanding from getting cleared. By openly discussing concerns, expectations, or grievances, we can better understand each other’s perspectives.

Personal and Professional Growth:

Learning to constructively discuss disagreements builds our emotional resilience, empathy, and equanimity – essential ingredients for both personal and professional growth.

Problem-Solving and Innovation:

Addressing challenges head-on encourages problem-solving and innovation. It allows for brainstorming solutions, exploring new ideas, and fostering creativity in finding mutually beneficial outcomes.

Organisational Health:

Within a professional setting, managing difficult conversations contributes to a healthier organisational culture. It cultivates a culture of open communication, transparency, and trust among team members, which is essential for a positive work environment.

Avoidance of Escalation:

Ignoring or avoiding difficult conversations often leads to issues festering and escalating. Addressing concerns early on helps prevent minor issues from snowballing into larger, more challenging problems that are harder to resolve.

Decision-Making and Progress:

Difficult conversations can sometimes involve making tough decisions. Managing these discussions ensures that decisions are made thoughtfully, based on open dialogue and consideration of multiple perspectives, leading to progress and forward movement.

In essence, effective management of difficult conversations fosters healthier relationships, promotes growth, aids in conflict resolution, and contributes to a positive and productive environment, both personally and professionally.

Strategies for managing Difficult Conversations

Strategies for Managing Difficult Conversations

Don’t Avoid It

Procrastination does nothing but exacerbate the problems. It’s better to speak up and discuss the problem before it gets too late; this is key to preventing escalation down the line. It also builds our own confidence in handling uncomfortable situations.

Prepare by Reflecting on the Key Message You Want to Convey

Before saying something to anybody, you should know what you want to talk about, so clarify your thoughts beforehand. Knowing what you want to communicate ensures a more coherent and effective conversation.

Be Assertive

Being assertive is crucial as it lets you express your thoughts, concerns, and boundaries clearly and confidently while also respecting the perspectives of others. Assertiveness ensures that one’s voice is heard without being overly aggressive or passive, striking a balance.

Focus on Facts and Your Key Objective

When we are uncomfortable, we tend to blabber or try to talk about something or the other instead of coming straight to the point. That’s a mistake. One should stick to relevant facts and avoid drifting from the primary purpose of the conversation to maintain focus and clarity.

Choose an Appropriate Setting

Deliberately choosing the right environment – private, quiet, free of distractions – sets the tone for open and thoughtful dialogue by making people feel at ease. If you are able to approach the other person at the right place and at the right time, half the battle is already won.

Stay Calm and Composed

As difficult conversations include topics and issues one might be sensitive about, it’s common to see emotions getting the best of people, and they either break down or have aggressive outbursts during such conversations. So you need to keep your emotions in check; yes, it is easier said than done but very critical. As emotions heighten, reasoning ability reduces. Staying grounded enables logical problem-solving.

Be Empathetic

Having a conversation is not just about saying all that you’ve got; its also about listening to the other person. Listening to the other person’s perspective, Showing genuine interest in their perspective, and trying to understand it fosters a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

Focus on Interests, Not Positions

This is one of the major principles Roger Fisher and William Ury put forward in their book Getting To Yes. This approach highlights the importance of digging deeper into underlying interests or concerns rather than solely focusing on opposing stances. This helps uncover common ground and potential solutions.

Explore Options Together

Rather than focusing on disagreements and problems, we should work together to discuss different perspectives, explore more options and try to come up with a solution. Encouraging joint problem-solving fosters cooperation and a sense of shared responsibility.

Close on a Constructive Note

End the conversation by summarising key points, agreements, or action steps. In case there are any underlying ambiguities, clear them out. Ensure both parties feel heard and understood.

Follow Up to Prevent Fallout

While the point of having difficult conversations is to resolve whatever issues and misunderstandings there are and leave with no hard feelings, this isn’t always the case. At times, people need time to cool down and think. That’s why it becomes necessary to follow up to reaffirm commitments, check progress, or address any lingering concerns. This proactive approach helps prevent further issues from arising.

FAQs

FAQS

How can I prepare for a difficult conversation?

Preparing for a difficult conversation involves several key steps to ensure a constructive and effective dialogue. Begin by clarifying your objectives and what you hope to achieve from the conversation. Reflect on the specific points or concerns you need to address, ensuring they’re clear and focused. Consider the other person’s perspective and potential reactions to anticipate their responses. Lastly, create a conducive environment for the conversation, choosing an appropriate setting and time to ensure privacy and minimal distractions. This preparation helps you approach the discussion with clarity, composure, and a constructive mindset.

What are some strategies for staying calm during a challenging discussion?

Staying calm during a challenging discussion involves several strategies. Firstly, focus on deep breathing or mindfulness techniques to maintain composure and regulate emotions. Actively listen to the other person’s perspective without interrupting, allowing a moment to process before responding. If emotions start to escalate, take a brief pause or ask for a break to collect thoughts. It’s essential to reframe the situation, reminding oneself that the goal is understanding and resolution rather than winning the argument. Anchoring on facts and the conversation’s objective helps stay centred and composed, fostering a more productive dialogue.

Are there common mistakes to avoid during difficult conversations?

Certainly, several common mistakes can hinder the effectiveness of difficult conversations. Avoiding or delaying these discussions is a significant error, as it allows issues to fester and escalate. Being overly aggressive or confrontational can worsen tensions and hinder constructive dialogue. Similarly, being too passive and avoiding asserting one’s thoughts or feelings can lead to unaddressed concerns. Interrupting the other person, not actively listening, or getting defensive are additional pitfalls that hinder effective communication. Relying on assumptions or generalisations rather than focusing on specific instances or facts also undermines the discussion’s clarity and resolution. Lastly, allowing emotions to overpower the conversation without regaining composure can derail progress and prevent finding mutually agreeable solutions.

How can difficult conversations positively impact relationships and personal growth?

Difficult conversations, when navigated thoughtfully, can have positive impacts on relationships and personal growth. They foster honesty and transparency, building trust and understanding between individuals. Addressing conflicts or concerns openly demonstrates respect and commitment to the relationship’s well-being, ultimately strengthening the bond. Additionally, such conversations encourage self-reflection, enhancing emotional intelligence and communication skills. They offer opportunities for personal growth by challenging individuals to manage emotions, practice empathy, and find constructive solutions. Learning to navigate difficult conversations effectively cultivates resilience, adaptability, and a deeper understanding of oneself and others, contributing to overall personal and relational development.

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Speak Clearly: Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication

Speak Clearly: Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication

Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication

Whenever you hear the word barrier, what is the first image that your brain conjures?

A speed breaker on the road, a fence around the garden, or a brick wall?

That’s because we understand that a barrier is something that creates hurdles in our way.

Similarly, a communication barrier is anything that obstructs communication.

What are Barriers to Communication?

Communication simply refers to the exchange of information or the flow of information, messages, etc., from one entity to another; anything that obstructs that flow is a barrier to communication.

Anything that prevents a communicator from delivering the right message to the right person at the right time or a receiver from getting the right message at the right time.

Types of Barrier to Communication

Types of Barrier to Communication

1. Physical Barriers

These include environmental factors like noise, distance, and technical issues (e.g., poor internet connection) that hinder effective communication.

2. Semantic Barriers

Stemming from language differences, jargon, or ambiguous words, these barriers lead to misunderstandings due to varying interpretations of words or symbols.

3. Cultural Barriers

Differences in cultural backgrounds, customs, and communication norms can result in misinterpretations and hinder effective cross-cultural communication.

4. Psychological Barriers

These include emotional states, preconceived notions, biases, and selective perceptions that affect how a message is received and understood.

5. Organisational Barriers

Hierarchical structures, lack of proper communication channels, and bureaucratic red tape can impede the flow of information within an organisation.

6. Interpersonal Barriers

These relate to issues between individuals, such as personality clashes, lack of trust, or poor listening skills, which hinder effective communication.

7. Cognitive Barriers

Differences in knowledge, education, or mental models can make it challenging to convey complex information effectively.

8. Technological Barriers

Issues related to the use of communication technology, such as unfamiliarity with tools or technical glitches, can hinder communication.

9. Physiological Barriers

These are related to physical limitations, such as hearing or speech impairments, that affect communication.

Language as a Barrier in Communication

Language can be a significant barrier when individuals speak different languages or do not share a common understanding of a particular language.

This language barrier can manifest in various ways:

1. Language Differences: When individuals or groups speak different languages, it can impede effective communication.

2. Limited Vocabulary: Even when people speak the same language, differences in vocabulary, dialects, or regional accents can lead to misunderstandings.

3. Technical Jargon: In specialised fields or industries, using technical terms and jargon can create a language barrier for those unfamiliar with the terminology.

4. Cultural Context: Languages often carry cultural nuances and context-specific meanings that may be lost on non-native speakers, leading to misinterpretations.

5. Translation Challenges: Translating from one language to another can be complex, as it involves both words and cultural and contextual nuances. Translation errors can lead to misunderstandings.

To address language barriers, use plain and simple language, provide translations and visual aids, be patient and encourage questions.

Psychological Barriers to Communication

Psychological barriers are obstacles that arise from individuals’ mental states, emotions, perceptions, and cognitive biases.

Some common psychological barriers are:

1. Emotional State: Strong emotions like anger, fear, or anxiety can disrupt one’s ability to process and convey information clearly, leading to miscommunication.

2. Selective Perceptions: People tend to filter information through their beliefs and interests, clouded by prejudices and biases, which may cause them to hear what they want and disregard conflicting information.

3. Communication Apprehension: Some individuals experience anxiety or apprehension about communicating, particularly in public or formal settings, inhibiting their ability to express themselves effectively.

4. Cognitive Overload: Too much information or complex data can overwhelm individuals, making it difficult to absorb and process the message.

5. Lack of Attention: Poor listening skills, a lack of focus on the part of the sender or receiver can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication.

6. Defensiveness: When individuals feel criticised or attacked, they may become defensive, making it challenging to engage in constructive dialogue.

Addressing psychological barriers involves fostering self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and active listening skills.

Encouraging an open and non-judgmental communication environment can also mitigate these barriers and promote effective interpersonal interactions.

The Impact of Attitudinal Barriers on Communication

Attitudinal barriers stem from an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and predispositions.

These barriers often result from negative or inflexible attitudes and can include:

1. Resistance to Change: Stubbornness and an unwillingness to accept new ideas or information that challenge existing beliefs or routines make conveying innovative concepts or changes difficult.

2. Prejudices and Stereotypes: Deep-seated biases and stereotypes can lead to judgments and assumptions about others, preventing open and fair communication.

3. Cultural Insensitivity: A lack of cultural awareness and respect can result in insensitivity toward others’ cultural backgrounds, making it difficult to connect with people from diverse backgrounds.

4. Closed-mindedness: People unwilling to consider alternative viewpoints or perspectives may block meaningful dialogue and collaborative problem-solving.

5. Ego and Arrogance: Excessive pride or arrogance can hinder open communication by diminishing the willingness to admit mistakes or collaborate effectively.

6. Negative Attitudes: A generally pessimistic outlook can discourage constructive communication, as individuals may focus on problems rather than solutions.

Developing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and empathy can help individuals overcome these attitudinal barriers and engage in more effective and constructive communication.

Systematic Barriers in Communication

Systematic barriers refer to obstacles arising from an organisation or system’s structure, processes, or policies. These barriers can include:

1. Hierarchical Structure: A rigid and hierarchical organisational structure may impede the flow of information between different levels of management, making it difficult for employees to communicate with higher-ups or share feedback.

2. Bureaucracy: Complex bureaucratic procedures can slow down decision-making and communication processes, leading to delays and inefficiencies.

3. Inadequate Technology: Outdated or unreliable communication technology and inefficient communication channels can hinder efficient communication, particularly in today’s digital age.

4. Poor Policies: Policies that discourage open and honest communication, such as punitive measures for raising concerns, can prevent employees from speaking up.

5. Geographic Dispersion: If an organisation has multiple locations or remote teams, geographic dispersion can create challenges in coordinating communication and ensuring that all employees are informed.

Addressing systematic barriers requires organisations to assess and improve their communication processes, adopt efficient communication technologies, encourage open feedback, and create a communication-friendly culture.

Physiological Communication Barriers

Physiological communication barriers are obstacles that arise from physical limitations or conditions. Some common physiological barriers include:

1. Hearing Impairments: Hearing impairment can make it challenging for individuals to understand spoken communication. In such cases, sign language, hearing aids, or alternative communication methods may be necessary.

2. Speech Impediments: Speech disorders or impediments, such as stuttering or lisping, can hinder a person’s ability to clearly convey their thoughts or ideas.

3. Vision Impairments: Visual impairments, including blindness or low vision, can affect an individual’s ability to read written communication, facial expressions, or body language.

4. Nonverbal Communication Challenges: Physiological conditions that limit an individual’s ability to use nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, or body language, can hinder their ability to convey or interpret messages effectively.

5. Physical Disabilities: Mobility impairments or physical disabilities may affect an individual’s capacity to engage in face-to-face communication, navigate communication technology, or participate in group discussions.

6. Mental Health Conditions: Certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety or social phobias, can create physiological responses (e.g., increased heart rate or sweating) that interfere with effective communication.

Addressing physiological communication barriers involves using appropriate assistive devices or accommodations, modifying communication methods, and ensuring that communication environments are accessible and inclusive.

Additionally, patience, empathy, and understanding on the part of communication partners are essential in facilitating effective communication with individuals facing physiological challenges.

Strategies for Overcoming Communication Barriers

1. Active Listening: Pay close attention to the speaker, try understanding their perspective and feelings, ask clarifying questions, and show that you are engaged and interested in what they are saying.

2. Clarity in Message Delivery: Use clear and concise language when conveying your message, as all parties might not understand jargon or technical terms.

3. Adapt Communication Style: Be flexible in your communication style to suit the needs and preferences of your audience. Adjust your tone, language, and approach as necessary.

4. Use of Multiple Communication Channels: Utilise a variety of communication tools and channels, such as face-to-face meetings, email, phone calls, and video conferencing, to choose the most appropriate method for different situations.

5. Simplify Complex Information: Break down complex topics into smaller, more digestible pieces of information. Use visuals, examples, and analogies to enhance understanding.

6. Respect Differences: Recognise and respect differences in opinions, ideas, and perspectives. Encourage diverse viewpoints as they can lead to richer discussions. Also, be aware of cultural differences in communication norms, customs, and non-verbal cues, and show respect for diverse backgrounds by adapting your communication style.

7. Address Psychological Barriers: Build trust and rapport to minimise emotional barriers by encouraging open conversations about feelings and concerns.

8. Eliminate Physical Barriers: Reduce noise, minimise distractions, and ensure that the physical environment is conducive to effective communication.

9. Promote a Communication-Friendly Culture: Organisations can create an environment that values clear and open communication by establishing effective communication policies and encouraging employees to give feedbacks, voice their opinions and concerns.

10. Use Technology Wisely: Ensure that communication technology is reliable and user-friendly. Provide training and support for the use of communication tools.

11. Practice Patience: Recognise that overcoming communication barriers may take time and effort. Be patient and persistent in your communication efforts.

By implementing these strategies, individuals and organisations can improve their ability to overcome communication barriers and facilitate more effective and productive interactions.

Examples of Communication Barriers

1. Language Barrier: A person speaking English may have difficulty communicating with someone who speaks only Spanish, leading to misunderstandings.

2. Noise Distraction: High noise levels in a crowded office can make it challenging to hear and understand a conversation, causing miscommunication.

3. Cultural Differences: Different cultural norms and customs may lead to misunderstandings. For instance, a nod in some cultures signifies agreement; in others, it may indicate understanding but not necessarily agreement.

4. Technical Jargon: Using complex technical terms or industry-specific jargon in a conversation with someone unfamiliar with the terminology can hinder comprehension.

5. Information Overload: Receiving an overwhelming amount of information can lead to confusion and difficulty in processing essential details.

6. Assumptions: Making assumptions about what others know or understand can result in incomplete or inaccurate communication.

7. Lack of Context: Providing information without proper context can lead to misunderstandings. For instance, if a manager gives an order without explaining its rationale, employees may not fully comprehend the purpose behind it.

8. Generational Differences: Different generations may have distinct communication preferences and styles, which can lead to conflicts or misalignment in the workplace.

9. Physical Barriers: Physical distance, such as when team members work in different locations, can hinder face-to-face communication and lead to misunderstandings.

10. Organisational Policies: Bureaucratic or rigid organisational policies may slow down the flow of information and impede open communication.

Conclusion

These examples illustrate the diverse range of barriers affecting communication in various contexts.

Identifying and addressing these barriers is crucial for effective communication in personal, professional, and social contexts.

A combination of strategies and approaches, such as active listening, cultural sensitivity, clarity in message delivery, and appropriate communication tools, helps mitigate communication barriers.

Overcoming communication barriers is vital because it ensures a clear, effective exchange of information, fosters understanding, minimises misunderstandings, and enhances relationships, productivity, and collaboration in personal and professional contexts.

7 Effective Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills

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Importance & Ways to Improve Communication Skills

importance of effective communication skills

In an era where everyone has access to abundant resources, the next person is just as competitive as you, if not more, where ideas and innovations abound in every corner; what you present matters, but how you present matters even more.

How you convey, negotiate, convince, and ultimately, what impact you leave on others makes all the difference.

This underscores the importance of effective communication skills.

Communication is exchanging ideas and opinions, but effective communication goes beyond that.

It’s not just about relaying information; it’s a two-way communication where one needs to make sure that what is conveyed by the communicator is exactly what the recipient understands.

Nowadays, Effective communication is no longer something that just gives you an edge over others; it has almost become a life skill essential for surviving in this era of information, technology and cutthroat competition.

How one communicates can become the make-or-break factor in securing a job opportunity, maintaining a healthy relationship and self-expression.

Importance and Benefits of Effective Communication Skills

Importance and Benefits of Effective Communication Skills

Good communication skills offer many benefits that positively impact your personal and professional life. Here are some key advantages:

1. Better Interpersonal Relationships

Good communication skills foster stronger relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. You can express yourself clearly, understand others better, and build trust and rapport.

In customer-facing roles, strong communication helps you understand customer needs and concerns, address inquiries effectively, and provide satisfactory solutions.

2. Empathy and Trust

Your ability to convey your thoughts better and your willingness to listen to others, the two pillars of good communication, lets you understand others better by putting yourself in their shoes.

Listening to what others have to say and valuing their opinions fosters a feeling of mutual respect and trust.

3. Career Advancement

Effective communication is often critical for career growth in the professional world. It enhances your ability to work in teams, lead others, and convey your ideas to superiors, colleagues, and subordinates.

4. Conflict Resolution

By delivering messages clearly, there is no room for misunderstanding or alteration, which decreases the potential for conflict.

Even if a dispute arises, clear communication aids in identifying, discussing, and resolving issues by articulating problems, gathering relevant information, understanding others’ perspectives and collaborating to find practical solutions.

5. Enhanced Negotiation

Effective communication is crucial in negotiations. You’re more likely to reach mutually beneficial agreements when clearly expressing your needs and interests while understanding the other party’s position.

6. Increased Influence and Improved Leadership

People with good communication skills are often more persuasive and have the potential to become better leaders.

They inspire and motivate their teams by conveying goals, providing feedback, and offering guidance clearly and compellingly.

7. Cultural Sensitivity

Good communication skills facilitate interactions with people from diverse backgrounds. It makes you better equipped to navigate cultural differences and engage in respectful cross-cultural communication.

8. Greater Self-Esteem

Developing communication skills often leads to greater self-awareness. Your self-confidence naturally improves when you express yourself clearly and engage in meaningful conversations. This confidence translates to better interactions and a positive self-image.

9. Stress Reduction

Miscommunication and misunderstandings can lead to stress and anxiety. Having good communication skills reduces the chances of such situations and saves you the unnecessary trouble

10. Networking Opportunities

Communicating well enhances your ability to connect with new people in social settings, networking events, or professional gatherings. Such networks and, hard work and determination can accelerate your growth.

Thus, Effective Communication skills help you adapt to new challenges, learn from others, and excel in various areas of life.

Ways to Improve Communication Skills

Ways to Improve Communication Skills

1. Practise Empathetic Listening

Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their perspectives and emotions.

Try to truly understand what others are saying, avoid interrupting and show that you’re engaged through nonverbal cues. Such empathetic communication builds more robust connections.

2. Strengthen Your Vocabulary

Beef up your vocabulary or word power by reading newspapers, blogs, popular literature, etc. Listening to music, audiobooks and watching English movies (with subtitles).

Knowing or learning new words is not enough; use them in conversations and writing. Writing journals or blogs is an excellent way to practice new expressions and terms that you have learned.

3. Engage in Learning Exercises

Enrolling in public speaking or communication courses, participating in group discussions and public speaking groups, or fun activities like role-play exercises helps you gain confidence and communicate better.

4. Seek Feedback

Don’t fear making mistakes, learn from them and use them as growth opportunities.

Make it a habit to ask for feedback about your communication style; constructive criticism can help you identify where your shortcomings are so that you can work on them.

5. Use Clear and Concise Language

Avoid jargon, complex sentences, or unnecessary details that others might find difficult to understand.

A good speaker does not use fancy words but clear and concise language to ensure the message is easier to understand.

6. Practise Mindful Communication

People have different perspectives, backgrounds, and opinions, so be mindful of how your words impact others.

Be aware of cultural differences in communication styles and adapt your approach when interacting with people from different backgrounds.

When disagreements arise, be respectful and open-minded, and try to convey your point while not demeaning anybody.

7. Pay attention to Detail

Focus on not just the verbal but also the nonverbal aspect of communication. Aligning your body language, facial expressions, gestures, tone, and pitch with your verbal message is essential to ensure that what you’re saying is precisely what the other person understands.

At the same time, read nonverbal cues from your audience (yawning, nodding, etc.) that indicates whether they are interested in what you are saying.

8. Use Technology Wisely

While technology has helped us connect and communicate better, digital communication platforms should be used wisely to practise expressing your thoughts clearly and concisely.

9. Watch and Learn

Watch TED Talks, podcasts, or interviews to pay attention to individuals who are skilled communicators. Observe their body language, tone, etc. And gather tips for improving your skills.

10. Record and Reflect

Record your speeches to analyse your strengths and areas for improvement. Practice speaking in front of the mirror to see yourself from the audience’s eyes or just replay any interaction in your mind to try and understand what you can do better.

11. Manage Nervousness

If you are not adept at public speaking, you will feel like a fish out of water when put on the spot. But that doesn’t have to remain the case forever; you can learn relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or visualisation, to manage nervousness when communicating.

Improving communication skills is a gradual process. Consistent effort and a willingness to learn and adapt are key to becoming a more effective and confident communicator.

Examples of Good Communication Skills

Good communication skills encompass a range of abilities that enable effective and meaningful interaction with others.

Examples of Good Communication Skills

Some examples of specific communication skills that are considered valuable:

1. Active Listening

Actively engaging with the speaker by giving them your full attention, making eye contact, nodding, and providing verbal cues (e.g., “I understand,” “Tell me more”) shows that you value their input and encourages open dialogue.

Demonstrating understanding and compassion for others’ feelings and perspectives makes them feel heard and valued.

2. Nonverbal Communication

Recognising and using nonverbal cues like body language, facial expressions, gestures, and posture to support and enhance your spoken words reinforces your message and conveys emotions more clearly.

3. Open-Ended Questions

Not just focusing on the “what”, “when”, and “where” of the situation but trying to understand the “how” and “why” behind it by asking open-ended questions encourages detailed responses and promotes further discussion, facilitating deeper exploration of a topic.

4. Clarity and Brevity

Getting straight to the point and delivering your message succinctly is better than beating around the bush.

Expressing thoughts and ideas clearly and coherently and avoiding jargon or overly technical terms ensures your message is easily understood.

Conveying important information concisely is especially valuable in professional settings with limited time.

5. Adaptability

Tailoring your communication style and approach based on your audience ensures good communication.

Whether you’re speaking to a colleague, a friend, a child, or a superior, adjusting your communication to match their needs and preferences is essential.

6. Use of the Correct Medium

Knowing that different situations require different communication channels helps you deliver your message effectively.

During face-to-face conversations are preferable for urgent matters or sensitive discussions, emails or instant messaging may suffice for non-urgent information sharing.

While presenting complex information, you can also use visual aids such as charts, graphs, or diagrams.

7. Assertiveness

Knowing what you need and expressing your thoughts, needs, and opinions confidently and respectfully makes others listen to you. However, assertiveness involves standing up for yourself while considering others’ feelings and thoughts.

8. Feedback Culture

The willingness to provide and accept positive feedback and constructive criticism promotes growth and improvement.

9. Public Speaking

It involves organising your thoughts, engaging your audience, and maintaining a solid presence. Delivering presentations or speeches with confidence and clarity is a clear example of good communication skills.

10. Written Communication

While most of the time, we focus on the spoken aspect of communication, effectively conveying your message through written communication channels such as emails and texts is essential in today’s interconnected world.

11. Storytelling

Using narratives and anecdotes to illustrate points makes information more relatable and engaging. Storytelling can captivate your audience and convey complex ideas in a memorable way.

12. Negotiation Skills

Effective negotiation involves active listening, compromise, and persuasive communication. Engaging in discussions helps in finding mutually acceptable solutions.

13. Conflict Management

Constructively addressing conflicts and disagreements, focusing on resolution rather than blame by active listening and finding common ground, helps de-escalate tense situations.

These are just a few examples of good communication skills.

Developing and honing these skills can significantly enhance your ability to connect with others, collaborate effectively, and succeed in various personal and professional situations.

Key Takeaways

This blog sheds light on good communication skills’ role by empowering you to navigate the complexities of human interaction with confidence, empathy, and clarity.

When communication is effective, all parties involved feel satisfied.

Thus, effective communication skills are an invaluable asset that can significantly improve your quality of life and contribute to your success and well-being.

However, one must remember that communication is a two-way street. It is not just about what you want to say or convey but also about how the receiver understands or interprets the message.

Therefore, becoming a good communicator is a gradual process you must work on daily.

Further reading:

Commonly Used English Words

Fascinating English Dance Idioms & Phrases

Strategies to Avoid Poor Communication In The Workplace!

7 Communication Mistakes in the Workplace + Solution

Real-Life Examples of Effective Communication

examples of good communication skills

Let’s be honest; we’ve all found ourselves in situations where we’ve prepared a little or a lot for an upcoming conversation or presentation related to our interests.

However, for various reasons, we sometimes underestimate situations, avoiding our thoughts and doubts, or even struggling to find the right words when speaking.

All of these combined factors clearly indicate the desperate need for the refinement of “Good Communication Skills” in your repertoire.

Now, I won’t make you rack your brain by listing every detail about communication skills.

Every speaker possesses communication skills; we need to elevate them a bit. So, let’s understand what good communication skills entail.

What Are Communication Skills?

Let’s imagine you’re at a business meeting right in the heart of Mumbai – pretty cool, right?

Anyway, even though you might have a hard time focusing on the meeting itself, especially because it’s scheduled after lunch, you still manage to be a good communicator.

Here are the skills that earned you the ‘good communicator’ label, or in other words, how one can excel in communication skills:

Active Listening. As your team member presents the proposal, you focus your attention entirely on them.

You don’t get distracted by your phone or other tasks. Instead, you maintain eye contact, nod occasionally, and provide verbal cues like “I understand” or “Interesting” to show that you’re engaged and comprehending their points.

Clarity. When it’s your turn to respond, you offer clear and concise feedback.

Empathy. You sense that your team member has put much effort into this proposal. You acknowledge their hard work by saying something like, “I appreciate the time and thought you’ve put into this. I can see you’ve invested a lot of effort into finding solutions.”

Nonverbal Communication. Your body language reflects your interest and openness.

You lean forward slightly to show engagement, maintain appropriate eye contact, and use facial expressions that convey genuine interest in their ideas.

Your tone of voice is supportive and encouraging.

With these common communication skills, you create an environment of open dialogue that sets you apart.

Real-life Examples Of Communication Skills

Examples from real life highlight the practical use of communication skills in different scenarios, emphasising their role in promoting successful interactions and building meaningful relationships.

Here is a list of the same:

Confidence

Confidence is the foundation of effective communication. It shapes how we share our thoughts, connect with people, and influence the outcome of our conversations.

When we speak with assurance, we come across as trustworthy, build connections, and capture the listener’s attention.

Example:

Imagine you’re preparing for a job interview at a prestigious company. The role requires strong leadership skills and the ability to present complex ideas clearly.

You’re confident in your qualifications and preparation as you enter the interview room.

This confidence significantly enhances your communication throughout.

In essence, confidence is the driving force that elevates your communication from merely conveying information to making a lasting impact.

It’s not just about having all the answers but believing in your ability to express yourself effectively and connect with others in a meaningful way.

Active Listening

Active listening is a concrete communication and providing feedback. Its impact on effective communication is profound, as it fosters understanding, builds rapport, and enhances overall communication quality.

Example:

Imagine you work in customer service and receive a call from an upset customer who received a damaged product. Your active listening skills come into play as you address their concerns:

As the customer begins to explain the issue, you put aside distractions and fully focus on their words.

You don’t interrupt or jump to conclusions; instead, you let them share their experience uninterrupted.

When the customer expresses their frustration, you validate their feelings by acknowledging, “I can understand how disappointing this situation must be.”

Once the customer has shared their concerns, you offer solutions while referencing their specific issues.

This demonstrates that you’ve listened carefully.

Friendliness

Friendliness contributes to a positive and pleasant atmosphere during communication.

A friendly tone, smiles, and positive body language create an environment where individuals feel at ease and free to express themselves without fear of judgment.

This positive ambience encourages a more open and honest exchange of thoughts and perspectives.

In group settings, friendliness is a catalyst for effective teamwork. When team members communicate in a friendly manner, it promotes cooperation, reduces conflicts, and encourages a sense of unity.

Collaborative outcomes are more likely when individuals feel comfortable sharing ideas and working together.

In essence, friendliness is not just a superficial nicety; it’s a powerful facilitator that shapes the very essence of communication.

Volume and Clarity

When you combine appropriate volume with clarity, you enhance your communication effectiveness.

This combination ensures that your message reaches your audience accurately and comprehensibly.

Whether you’re presenting to a large audience, engaging in a one-on-one conversation, or leading a team meeting, volume and clarity can significantly impact how your message is received.

Imagine you are a teacher giving a lecture in a large classroom. If you speak too softly, the students at the back might struggle to hear you, leading to disengagement and loss of interest.

On the other hand, speaking too loudly might come across as aggressive or even create discomfort among the students.

Therefore, maintaining a moderate volume ensures that everyone can hear you comfortably without feeling overwhelmed.

In summary, volume and clarity are essential elements of effective communication. They work hand in hand to make sure your message is heard and understood.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness refers to the ability to actively engage and provide timely feedback or reactions in a conversation.

Being responsive shows that you’re attentive and engaged and fosters a sense of connection and understanding between you and your communication partner.

Let’s explore how responsiveness impacts communication with a detailed example.

Imagine you are a project manager leading a team meeting to discuss a critical project deadline. Team members share their progress, concerns, and ideas during the meeting.

As the project manager, your level of responsiveness will significantly influence the outcome of the discussion and the team’s perception of your leadership.

Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful communication technique that involves conveying information, ideas, or messages through a narrative structure.

It engages the audience emotionally and cognitively, making the information more memorable, relatable, and impactful.

Let’s look into how storytelling affects good communication skills with an example.

Imagine you are a sales manager in a technology company, and you’re tasked with delivering a presentation to potential clients about a new product your team has developed—a cutting-edge software solution that streamlines business operations.

Instead of presenting a dry list of features and benefits, you decide to use storytelling to make the presentation more engaging and cogent.

You start with your company’s CEO, let’s name her Miya.

As the story unfolds, you reveal how Miya comes across your software solution.

You describe her initial scepticism and hesitation, mirroring the doubts that some clients in the audience might have.

However, as Miya starts using the software and witnessing its transformative effects, her company thrives.

You highlight the specific ways in which the software addresses her pain points and brings about positive changes.

This approach engages the listeners more in the actual concept. You can also create engagement by asking or referencing common and relatable situations the listener might have experienced.

Remember that this storytelling method works best when you have ample time.

However, if you have limited time, ranging between 5-10 minutes or less, make sure to keep it concise while effectively conveying your message.

Voice Modulation

Voice modulation is the intentional variation in pitch, tone, pace, volume, and emphasis while speaking.

It’s a crucial aspect of effective communication that adds depth, emotion, and clarity to your message.

Voice modulation can greatly influence how your audience receives and understands your message.

Let’s explore how voice modulation affects good communication skills with an example.

Imagine you are a public speaker giving a motivational speech to a diverse audience.

Your speech is about overcoming challenges and embracing change to achieve personal growth.

Your ability to use voice modulation effectively will significantly impact the engagement and impact of your message.

You adjust your pitch and tone throughout your speech to match the content and emotions you’re conveying.

When discussing challenges, use a slightly lower pitch and a more serious tone to convey the gravity of the situation.

Voice modulation allows you to emphasise specific words or phrases with significant meaning.

For example, when you say, “Embracing change is essential for personal growth,” you increase the volume and emphasise “essential” to underscore its importance in your message.

How To Improve Your Communication Skills?

Communication skills enable you to effectively convey an idea, direction, opinion, or emotion to others, usually in exchange for a response or feedback.

According to the NACE web, communication skills top the list of skills employers look for when hiring applicants.

To enhance your communication skills, consider the following strategies:

Absorb, Share, and Understand – Respect the views of others through engagement and interest. Use appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities to explain and clarify thoughts and ideas. Listen actively to others and ask questions to understand them better.

Answering Questions About Communication Skills

When answering questions about your communication skills, provide a comprehensive response that highlights your strengths while being honest.

Here’s a structured way to answer such questions:

Confirm Skill. Recognize the importance of good communication skills and how they relate to the job you are applying for.

Provide Evidence. Give specific examples from your experience demonstrating your strong communication skills. These examples can come from different aspects of your life, such as work, study, volunteer work, or personal interactions.

Highlight Strengths. Mention aspects of communication where you excel, such as active listening, speaking clearly, presenting effectively, written communication, teamwork, or conflict resolution.

Show Willingness to Learn. Express your desire to improve your communication skills continually. This demonstrates your focus on development and your openness to feedback.

Connect to the Role. Link your answer to the position you are applying for and explain how your communication skills will benefit the team and contribute to the organisation’s success.

Remember, your response should be honest and tailored to your experiences and the specific job you’re applying for.

Examples of Communication Situations

Communication occurs in various scenarios, and adept communication is essential for understanding, connection, and achievement.

Here are a few situations:

1. Business Meeting. Presenting a project update, discussing strategies, and making decisions with colleagues and stakeholders.

2. Job Interview. Engaging in a conversation with a potential employer to showcase your skills, experience, and suitability for a job role.

3. Family Gathering. Participating in a discussion during a family reunion or dinner, sharing news and stories, and catching up with relatives.

4. Classroom Lecture. Listening to a teacher present new information or concepts and asking questions for clarification or deeper understanding.

5. Public Speaking. Addressing a large audience to convey a message, share information, or inspire action on a particular topic.

6. Text Messaging. Using various messaging platforms, exchanging written messages with friends, family, or colleagues.

7. Video Conference. Participating in a virtual meeting with remote colleagues or clients, using video and audio to communicate and collaborate.

These are just a few examples of communication situations, and in each case, effective communication skills are crucial for conveying thoughts.

The Three Most Important Parts of Good Communication

1. Clear Message. Effective communication involves conveying a clear and well-defined message, organising your thoughts, choosing the right words, and structuring your message coherently to minimise misunderstandings.

2. Active Listening. Listening actively and understanding the context, emotions, and meaning behind spoken words. It shows respect for the other person and allows you to ask relevant questions and respond thoughtfully.

3. Feedback and Response. Providing feedback and responding appropriately confirm that the message was received and understood correctly. Constructive comments and thoughtful responses contribute to productive and meaningful dialogue.

Conclusion

An organisation that communicates openly is likely to achieve better results.

Simple goals like fostering a culture of listening, improving speaking skills, and building better relationships with team members can be key to achieving this.

Training is also essential to learn the more technical aspects of communication, so it’s a good idea to include it in your plan.

Combining all the factors we’ve discussed will undoubtedly help individuals develop good communication skills.

Take your time to learn these simple yet concept-grasping pointers that will put you at the forefront of speaking skills.

And who knows, someday, people might come to you for advice on “how to improve communication skills.”

Recommend Reading:

7 Communication Mistakes in the Workplace + Solution

Top 12 Essential Interpersonal Skills You Ought to Master

7 Effective Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills

7 Tips to Improve Communication Skills

Positive relationships in both the professional and personal spheres depend on effective communication.

You use communication skills when you speak with your family, present at work, or discuss a concern with your boss.

Although it’s simple to think of communication as just talking, there is more to it.

Various factors influence communication, such as your word choice, presentation graphics, and tone of voice.

Not only does a betterment in this area help you further your career, but it also makes you an active listener with an open mind and a knack for building great interpersonal relationships.

Poor communication is often a reason behind losing potential business and wasting hours away at inconclusive meetings.

Elements of Communication

Elements of Communication

There are but 3 facets to it: Verbal, Non-verbal, and written communication.

Verbal communication takes place face-to-face, on online meetings, or over the phone.

Non-verbal communication is your body language, facial expressions, eye contact or the lack of it, and how your body in totality adds to the words being spoken and emoted.

Written communication is that which pops up in letters, emails, and chats. It is definitely also how writers speak to their readers.

But it is to be remembered that communication also inherently entails exceptional listening skills, paying attention to the silence between words, having a heightened emotional awareness that helps identify situations in progress, and definitely great questioning skills as more can be learnt from a succinct question or two than from never-ending paragraphs.

How to Enhance Communication Skills: Verbal

The most traditional of all communications requires a combination of great vocabulary, pitch control, and a sense of animation while engaging with the audience.

Verbal Communication

You want them to be hooked on what you have to say, right? Rather than fall dead asleep.

How do you do that?

For starters, you must have clarity as to what you wish to communicate and the facts and figures to back that up.

Things to Do:

1. Observe with tact. Your daily communication and audience give a plethora of information about how people engage with you and where they seem to lose attention. Pick up your strengths and weaknesses from daily conversations.

2. Follow a structure. Stating your purpose, backing it up with your rationale, and end with offering possible outcomes. This framework of presenting your thoughts is apt for both professional and informal scenarios.

Things to Avoid:

1. No monotone. You must keep switching from one cadence to another. The to and fro jumping between lower and higher pitch helps assert gravitas and youthfulness, respectively.

2. Use silence to your advantage. The audience will sway with the rhythm of your storytelling as you pause at strategic points, hold the attention and make the big reveal.

How to Improve Communication Skills: Non-verbal

Your face gives out more than you could ever imagine.

Non-verbal cues stand for the body language that is omnipresent in any communication that happens in a physical presence – real or virtual.

non-verbal communication

It is the movement of your eyes, the crack in your voice, how you cross your arms, and how your feet stand on the ground.

It is a multiplicity of body language features that connects the dot between the words being spoken and the emotion & purpose being espoused.

Things to Do:

1. Meet the eyes. Maintaining steady eye contact is instrumental to establishing a speaker-listener relationship. Firm eye contact used intelligently helps drive home a point. It says that you are paying eye attention and are indeed present in the moment.

2. Good Posture says it all. Slouching is an absolute no-no in the workplace or during serious talks. It can be a difficult non-verbal communication skill to master – but you need to work at it nonetheless.

Things not to do:

1. Do not fidget. This is rule number one in any checklist. Being calm and still will convey a sense of confidence and control.

2. Don’t cross your arms. This apparent ‘power pose’ is a sham you need to stay away from. It makes you come off as a closed person who is not ready to various perspectives, and this can never be helpful at work or with family.

How to Enrich Communication Skills: Written

This one can be the hardest as you do not have your audience present to judge their reaction and change tone and manner accordingly. What can be done, though, is constant reviewing.

How to Enrich Written Communication Skills

Make sure that your spelling and grammar are flawless as a starting point for improving your written communication.

The written word can be very powerful in conveying your ideas and especially emotions, if you incorporate punctuations, pauses, and bridges to great effect.

Things to Do:

1. Read before sending.

Are there missing points? Is the tone appropriate for this email? Assuming too much of the reader or too less is a grave mistake. Instead, make sure you are clear, concise, and yet in-depth and intuitive in what you have written.

2. Pay attention to Formatting.

Is your email a readable text? Does it look and feel like a long paragraph with no pauses? One would immediately lose attention if that be so. Use bullet points, indentations, separate paragraphs, etc. To make more sense. Emphasise key points with underlines and highlights.

Things not to do:

1. Do not over-complicate.

Simple sentences that are not contrived or riddled with big words will always be more welcome by your audience.

2. Use more active voice.

Contrary to tradition. People do prefer shorter sentences in active voice that not only clarify actions or ideas being spoken of but also help make the reader more engaged.

7 Methods to Improve Your Communication Skills

7 Methods to Improve Your Communication Skills

1. Listen, Listen, Listen

The desire of people is to feel heard. Rather than formulating your response, pay close attention to what the other person is saying.

To avoid misunderstandings, seek clarification.

A major part of effective communication lies in listening closely.

You should pay attention to a person’s non-verbal cues as well as their spoken words when they are speaking to you.

One conversation at a time is another crucial idea. This means that you shouldn’t reply to an email or send a text message while on the phone with someone.

They will pick up the fact that you are not paying attention. A great way to start and hold attention is to ask questions.

2. Be clear and concise

Are your words expressing your core idea? Or have you strayed far from what you meant to convey?

Proofreading for typos, spelling, and grammatical mistakes will often help you shed the weight of excess words that help simplify the message.

With emails or our stories – we need to be careful lest we ramble. Do you think they want to listen to you meander through your long, winding story only to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion? No, they don’t as much as you wouldn’t.

Conversations that are clear and concise – both in life and on paper – are the ones which are most welcome.

3. Prepare in advance

Oh, so you are a sucker for impromptu conversations?

Don’t you really like making blueprints before expressing yourself?

No one could deny the charm of organic conversations that flow seamlessly in person and on paper – but the ‘um’s’ and the ‘uh’s’ can get really tricky if you don’t have time to think ahead.

If you’re planning to give a speech or present an idea in your office meeting. It’s better if you plan ahead in time.

A mere 30 seconds to go over key points you would like to engage within that communication will work wonders for you.

4. Be careful of nonverbal communication

Being mindful of the Dos and don’ts of what we spoke of non-verbal communication will take you a long way – both in being an active listener and an engaging speaker.

Picking up on non-verbal cues, such as fidgeting by the speaker, will tell you that it’s time to wind up your story.

Or their refusal to make eye contact is a sure-shot indication of impending boredom.

Your own body language can command attention if a combination of good traits be used into effect – such as a straight posture, hand gestures, constant eye contact with the audience, moving around the room etc.

5. Observe your tone

Does your listener feel respected? Does your reader feel included? Your tone of communication will be decisive for these two questions.

The difference in location, setting, topic at hand, the audience present – all call for choosing an appropriate tone.

Formal settings won’t appreciate jokes interspersed into your monologue, while social gatherings call for a more earthy manner of speaking.

Recording your voice while giving a speech or preparing for a tough conversation will help you identify the ebb and flow of your tone.

Keep recording, reviewing, and resolving to make changes where they are needed.

6. Learn from experts

Although the best communication skills are to be learnt through sheer experience – there is always the option of learning from the pros.

Several handbooks, workshops, seminars and courses are available nowadays that take you through the ABCs of effective communication skills.

So what If you live in a remote location or have absolutely no time to spare for workshops?

You can join online courses to enhance your communication skills.

It can be a big undertaking to transform the way you communicate – that’s where these coaches and mentors come in.

7. Identify your weaknesses and work upon them

So many pointers and so much knowledge. But how to effectively imbibe them into your daily conversations?

Well, one has to practice for this as they do for any other skill.

Ask for feedback, pinpoint challenges and commit to working on these areas of development.

Test the Level of Communication Skills you have acquired each day, every day, and at any given occasion.

Small changes that you incorporate into your next zoom meeting or coffee chat will make a huge impact in the long run.

Test the Level of Your Communication Skills

Test the Level of Your Communication Skills

So many pointers and so much knowledge. But how to effectively imbibe them into your daily conversations?

Well, one has to practice for this as they do for any other skill.

Ask for feedback, pinpoint challenges and commit to working on these areas of development.

Test the Level of Communication Skills you have acquired each day, every day, and at any given occasion.

Small changes that you incorporate into your next zoom meeting or coffee chat will make a huge impact in the long run.

Key Takeaways

In a post-pandemic world – with increased remote work and isolation at home – effective communication is indeed a boon that can be weaponised to great effect.

There is always room for improvement, even if you were born with a natural gift for interacting with others in an effortless and effortless manner.

Just as your interpersonal and professional relationships develop over time, so do strong communication skills.

Communication is a two-way street.

Once you inculcate methods to be a good listener – the speaker in you gets honed in their craft.

Put in empathy in every sentence you speak or write down, and that will mark the beginning of a great communicator who holds a room completely mesmerised.

Related articles: 100 Most Common Phrasal Verbs List with Example Sentences

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I’ll answer!

Filler Words in English

filler-words-in-english

Filler words help fill in pauses and gaps in conversations and speeches when we are thinking about answering a question.

Many knowledgeable people think that the use of such filler words depicts the insufficient vocabulary of the speaker.

Still, these words are often considered to be ‘style’ of speech, as they are also used by people who speak fluently.

In fact, filler words perform a necessary psychological function.

Since we all are human beings and not robots, we need time to process the information or question, and then we can give genuine answers in response.

Below we will come across some filler words used by both native and learning English speakers.

See how these words could be beneficial and what their drawbacks are.

Well

This word is usually used to score some time and clear one’s thoughts.

Wow!

This word is also an exclamation in English grammar that is sometimes used when you cannot find other words or phrases.

For example, your brother bought a new shirt, and when he shows it to you (you don’t like it), you say “Wow!” to avoid hurting his feelings.

This word is also used to express a variety of positive emotions. It may express astonishment, excitement, surprise, or happiness.

Okay

This word is known to all as it is the most simple word to show agreement over a topic of discussion. It is very frequently used while speaking or writing.

It is sometimes shortened to the word ‘ok’ while writing.

No way

It is used when you are shocked by something and are in a denial state.

Either you can not find the right words, or it is hard to believe something. It also shows your resistance to doing a particular task.

Tell me something

When you are about to ask a personal natured question, you should use this phrase to announce the question and let the other person digest it.

For example, Suzi, tell me something, how is your relationship going with Paul?

You see

Virtually, this expression has no meaning in the English language. It is genuinely just a filler phrase.

Sometimes, it is used in coordination with a thought that the person you are talking to does not understand or is not aware of something.

By the way

Its meaning is ‘incidentally,’ and it helps the speaker to talk about a minor topic that is unrelated to the discussion going on.

Exactly

This is an appropriate expression to fill a pause in the conversation, and at the same time, it is used to express agreement concerning the current topic.

Words like, yeah or you’re right can be replaced by this. It sounds more professional.

To be honest

In situations where you are uncomfortable to answer a question, but you want to tell the truth, this word is the one exact word in such situations.

For example: To be honest, I feel my Paul is dishonest to me.

You know

It is an actual filler word. It has no meaning, yet native and fluent speakers often use it.

Certainly

This word helps to tell the other person with whom the conversation is going on that you are focused on listening to the discussion or that you do agree with them.

It can also be used in the place of “yes,” and shows more positiveness than the word ‘yes.’

Basically

When you are almost at the end of your long speech, usually then this filler word is used to help you summarize all the topics spoken very clearly. It is a guide filler word. 

Final Thoughts

Of course, we should try to limit the use of these words as excessive use can make both the speaker as well as the listener feel uncomfortable, and you will be forced to clarify your speech or understanding.

Hence, they can be used sparingly, as they will help you speak and keep a conversation or a speech go smoothly.

Good luck!

Different Ways to Say “Thank You”

Different WAYS to Say 'Thank You'

When we express our gratitude, it is considered not only being humble but also good mannerisms.

It validates the person’s actions that helped you.

By helping each other, we can make this world a better place, whether through their actions or comments.

They always tend to do right by us. These people deserve our appreciation.

Showing your thankfulness may not repay the good things someone did for you, and it certainly does go a long way.

So from now on, show people your regards and gratitude by being thankful to them.

Here are some creative choices that can be shared with people who helped you.

Express your gratitude by matching the correct words below.

Best Words of Thanks

  1. I’m wearing the smile you gave me.
  2. TYFBA! (Thank you for being Awesome!)
  3. TYSM (Thank you so much)
  4. Thanks a lot!
  5. You are nothing less than a savior from God!
  6. I cannot thank you enough for your contribution!
  7. Please accept my appreciation.
  8. Thankful to have you as a friend.
  9. We’d love to express our appreciation for your lovely gift.
  10. Thanks to you, it has helped me a lot.
  11. Thank you for a great time.

Great Words of Thanks Messages

  1. Our highest gratitude for your work.
  2. We are so grateful for your support.
  3. I am so thankful for the things you have done for me.
  4. What a blessing you’ve been.
  5. Magnificent! You’re a lifesaver!
  6. God bless your spirit!
  7. You made my day!
  8. I’m humbled by all you’ve done on our behalf.
  9. May the world be full of beautiful people like you!
  10. I am so thankful for your kindness.
  11. A heartfelt acknowledgment for all that you’ve done.

Quotes of thanks by famous people

  1. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
  2. “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
  3. “Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

Appreciation for Your Help Messages

  1. Thank you for making time in your daily schedule to step up.
  2. Thank you very much!
  3. Having you as my friend is indeed a blessing.
  4. Thanks for not giving up on me.
  5. Thank you for your help.
  6. Thank you for always turning my lemons into lemonades.
  7. Thank you for the unforgettable experience. You’re incredible.
  8. You are a savior.

Expressions of ‘Thank you.’

  1. Much obliged!
  2. I am grateful.
  3. Thanks a lot for being there for me during this difficult time.
  4. It was so amazing of you.
  5. I will forever be indebted to you.
  6. I will remember this forever, thanks.
  7. What will I be without you?
  8. What you did for me is unforgettable.
  9. I’m so grateful to you.

Inspirational Words of Thanks

  1. Accept my endless gratitude.
  2. My sincere gratitude.
  3. Your generosity overwhelms me.
  4. I appreciate your valuable time.
  5. Consider yourself heartily thanked.
  6. I truly appreciate you.
  7. I cannot express my feelings.
  8. I’ll forever be grateful for your deeds.

Thank You for a Gift

  1. When I try to describe your gift, ‘perfect’ is just the word I could think of. Thanks for knowing me so well.
  2. Only someone as good as you could get me such an incredible gift. Your taste is so marvelous.
  3. Thank you for the gift. You put a smile on our faces.
  4. I think you know us better than we know ourselves. Thank you for this beautiful gift.
  5. This gift was exactly what I was looking for, Thanks!
  6. You never fail to surprise me.
  7. Thank you for such a terrific gift.
  8. This is the best present I’ve ever received!
  9. You made me feel so special.
  10. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
  11. Your warm wishes on our wedding were just what we wanted, thank you.
  12. Thank you for such a heartwarming gift.

Thank you for ‘kind words.’

  1. It was amazing it was to receive your beautiful note of support and appreciation.
  2. Thank you for supporting me all through the ups and downs.
  3. I was captivated when I received your encouragement note. Thank you.
  4. I am so much obliged to receive your note. Thank you.
  5. I’m so pleased to know that my suggestion note brightens your day.
  6. Your incredible generosity and thoughtfulness will be rewarded.
  7. Thank you for your kindness.
  8. Thank you for your marvelous words.

Short Words of Thanks

  1. You are such a calm and caring person. Thanks!
  2. Thank you for your support in all my endeavors!
  3. Thank you for your kind words.
  4. Thank you so much for your encouragement. They meant a lot to me!
  5. I think you are incredible.
  6. These are some phrases or sentences that you could use and add differently to create a flow in your speeches.

Final Thoughts

The next time try to use the above words according to the situation and level up your game of being grateful or thanking people.

Thank you!

The No. 1 Reason Why You Understand English But Can’t Speak?

Do You Understand English But Can’t Speak Blog post!

Do you understand English but struggle to speak? 

You can write well in English but find it hard to speak? 

Yes, today, I’ll reveal the #1 reason that’s stopping you from becoming a confident and fluent English speaker. 

Plus, I will provide you with 100% practical tips which you can use immediately to sharpen your English speaking skills. 

Stay tuned! 

The #1 Reason You’re Struggling To Speak English Fluently

It is because of lack of practice. Yes, you read it right. 

Currently, you’re not speaking English enough in your day-to-day activities. 

As a result, you can understand English but cannot speak fluently. 

When you listen to a lot of English content, your mind automatically starts grasping things. This is why you have no trouble understanding English.

Many of us studied in an English-medium school wherein we read and write English but don’t speak. 

Speaking English or any language is a two-way process. In other words, you can’t talk passively while we can listen passively. 

English is like riding a bike. You can learn only when you practically go and try to ride the bike. 

You can’t ride a bike just by reading theory, can you?

When you want to speak English, you have to think before speaking. But in your case, you haven’t trained your tongue to speak English words and phrases. 

To train your tongue, you need to speak daily. Now, I am going to share 100% actionable tips which you can use to practice effectively. 

Build a Habit of speaking English daily

There’s a saying, “Humans are creatures of habit and routine.” 

“It takes at least 21 days to build a habit.” 

To make your learning process super easy, we recommend you make it a habit to speak English daily. 

Right now, you don’t speak English much. That is also a habit of NOT using English in your daily life. 🙂 

You just need to replace this habit by making incremental changes in your life. 

Start using stylish phrases and words. Have small self-talk. You can write down your thoughts and read them aloud. 

These micro-actions will lead to macro transformation. 

Once you develop the habit of speaking English every day, you will not feel like you’re learning or you’re putting in efforts. 

We feel learning should be effortless, especially when it comes to mastering the English language or anything. 

There’s a saying, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Now, let me tell you about a powerful practice hack that anyone can use:

You don’t need any English partner to practice. You don’t have to join expensive live classes. 

And it’s super easy. All you have to do is

Post speeches on a TOPIC daily 

You can post speeches in a closed Facebook community group

Don’t worry; your Facebook friends can’t see the group activities. 

Our students use this simple technique to improve their English fluency. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1:  Join a like-minded Facebook community. You can join our Public Speaking Challenge group. All our groups are private. Only members can see group activities. 

Step 2: Pick a topic that you can talk about. It could be cooking,  gardening or anything you like. 

Step 3: Do a little bit of research around that topic, so you’ll have some idea what to speak about. In this process, you will also enhance your word power. 🙂 You can hit two targets with one arrow! 

You may start by posting speeches on the following topics: 

  • Introduce yourself in the group
  • Why do you want to improve your English fluency? 
  • What’s the biggest problem you face when it comes to speaking in English? 
  • What was your favourite subject in high school and WHY?  

Practice speaking difficult words

Many times we just practice simple and easy words which we already know and can speak effortlessly. 

Find out which words and phrases make you fumble and practice saying them aloud.

So next time, you can save yourself from embarrassment or fumbling.  

You can practice tongue twisters as well. This will train your tongue to speak difficult words. 

Here are some tongue twisters: 

  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

Sounds/words stressed: p

  • She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?

Sounds/words stressed: s & sh

  • Drew Dodd’s dad’s dog’s dead. 

Sounds/words stressed: d

  • A pessimistic pest exists amidst us.

Sounds/words stressed: s & t

Brush up your basic grammar and spelling skills

In our mentorship programme, we often find that our students need to brush up on their basics such as tenses, spelling, etc.

If you understand English but are struggling to speak, it’s time to revise the things you already know. 

We encourage this in all the students who join our training programmes.

I see many people who know English well but make prevalent mistakes. For example, using the second form of the verb with “Did.” 

Did in itself is a second form; you do not need to use the verb’s second form along with it. 🙂  

You got the gist of it?  

Stop making common mistakes by working on basic English.

Don’t focus too much on learning Grammar.

I see a lot of Indian people focus too much on learning grammar and vocabulary. 

You should learn grammar, but initially, you just need to FOCUS on the speaking aspect. 

The goal here is to start speaking ready-made phrases and stylish sentences. 

As you move forward in your journey,  you can start learning grammar and get into the technical aspect of the English language. 

Initially, become a copycat just like a child does. You will see your English fluency is improving rapidly when doing so. 

Make English your second nature.

I see many people try to speak English by translating. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

However, translating makes it difficult for you to speak fluent English. 

Translating takes time. It is essential that you think in English and then speak. 

To make English your second nature, listen to English content. You can listen to audiobooks, podcasts and watch English movies (if you like). 

Then use your learnings wherever you can. If you can do this, eventually, English will become your second nature. 

After that, you will not have to be conscious to speak fluent English. You can speak English just like your native language. 

Reaching this point may take some time and effort, but it’ll be worth it!

You can unlock many new opportunities in your life by improving your English fluency.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to understand a language but can’t speak it? 

Yes, it is completely normal. When you listen to a language a lot, your mind can understand that language but can’t speak it fluently.   

Especially in India, we study in English-medium schools. We learn how to read and write English but we don’t focus on speaking. 

Is Speaking English Difficult? 

No, it’s not. Once you know the basics of English and can understand it well, it is super easy to speak fluent English just like your native language. 

Why do I struggle with words? 

You’re not learning new vocabulary. Even if you learn 1 to 2 new words and practice them daily, your word power will increase rapidly. 

It’s all about consistent learning.  

Why am I better at writing than speaking?  

It is because of our conditioning. In schools and colleges, we were taught to read and write, not speak.  

Naturally, your writing ability becomes better than speaking. 

How can I improve my English fluency?   

You just need to focus on two things: 

  1. Listening 
  2. Speaking

That’s it. 

If you’re listening or reading, you might not be using English in your day to day activities. 

Active listening will improve your word power, too.  

You’ll be able to understand English better. You can effortlessly talk to native English speakers. 

Listening is very important. 

Conclusion  

Speaking fluent English requires a bit of effort and patience. Now, you know the reason why you understand English but can’t speak. 

If you apply the tips given in this guide, you’ll see positive results within a few weeks. 

Are you looking for more tips to improve your English fluency without any English partner? 

Read our new guide on 7 Time-tested tips to speak English fluently

How To Handle Someone of Opposite Opinion?

How To Handle Someone of Opposite Opinion_

Every person differs, and with that, their thoughts, opinions differ as well. We all have our own sense of agreement and disagreement. 

Whenever we are in the middle of the discussion, it’s nearly impossible for everyone to agree on a thing.

Be it the corporate world or group of friends’ opinions vary.

We begin by justifying our views and end up with an argument. We don’t want to compromise our views most of the time since we feel that we are accurate, and the opposite person is not.

We forget that this is not a debate; it’s just a mere discussion, and we continue justifying ourselves.

We all struggle here, now how are we supposed to carry a peaceful conversation without hurting the feelings of anyone.

Let us know some tips that can be helpful for you if followed.

Focus on facts

Most people convey this mistake, they just jump into the argument without even thinking about their statements that they are going to give on their support. 

Focus on facts

They don’t have any concrete proofs that can actually support their articulation. Your simple opinion is futile.

They won’t care about your opinion if they don’t find any rationality in it.

So, to bring rationality in your words, you need to focus on your firm recitation.

Logic is essential if you want to convince the person that your statement is valid.

But the issue is that in the middle of the disagreement, remembering facts is not feasible.

So, whenever you are in the middle of an argument, try to keep yourself calm so that your brain can process the information.

Try not to Take Anything Personally

When you are in a professional environment and if you have a disagreement upon anything.

Try not to think personally over the opinions.

The problem with taking things personally is that, when you get attached to any opinion or statement personally, then a minor comment against that will affect you a lot. 

try to not make it personally !

Your mind won’t be able to reason why this person is against that thing. What made him think like that? 

You will straight attack the person with numerous evidence that will support your opinion, and you will try your best to outshine the opposite person.

This won’t help you and will negatively impact the person you are arguing as well as the audience watching. 

Listen Calmly and Behave Gallantly 

Now, the moment we get to know that the person with whom we are talking has a different opinion or views, we just block our ears.

We just stop hearing what he is saying, or is there any chance of reasonability in his words. 

You start speaking in the middle, contradicting their belief.

Avoid this, instead, listen to them carefully; maybe you will find some logic or rationalism in their point.

Don’t always look for winning the argument by speaking or boasting over the facts.

You may not win the argument, but by listening peacefully, you will win the hearts of the people and remain in their good books.

Look for Something Fruitful in the Argument.

Whenever you are in a disagreement, you just jump to the conclusion that he is not agreeing, and you are against that.

Try to listen to the discussion and find something useful in that.

You can take that one point and discuss it further regarding that. 

This will ease the tension, and when you get that value from the person, you can use it in your justification.

When a person is of the opposite opinion, it doesn’t mean that he has no value, and he is just blabbering.

When you find something valuable in that dispute, it will add more value to your own knowledge. 

Avoid Further Arguments

Generally, what happens during a debate that one statement leads to another, and this way, the argument continues.

If you are confident that you are right, you don’t need to provide proof or shreds of evidence regarding that. You can’t expect that you will able to claim yourself right each and every time.

There will be a time when you will feel that you can’t take it anymore, and you will raise your hands in compromise.

Gradually, you will realize that you are just wasting your precious time and calories over a useless person.

The greater the argument will be, the less will be your inner peace.