Good Communication Skills for a Great Career
Communication is one of the basic human activities.The ability to communicate by different means is the distinction between human beings and animals. Language is one of the most wonderful tools to be invented by human beings.Out of the many languages used by human societies by far the most popular language which is used for inter racial communication is English. English is most commonly used for communication of Scientific, cultural, business, medical and other fields.Good communication skill in English is considered an asset in any career. Following the technological and social changes brought about by the advent of social media and other applications it is imperative that good communication skills have to be developed in English for a successful career.
Following are the types of communication skills.
• Written communication – formal, informal
• Verbal communication – formal, informal
• Non verbal communication
• Paralingual communication: It is the tone and pitch of your voice when you are talking to people.
What is Verbal Communication ?
Spoken language in order to communicate is called as Verbal Communication. In order to understand, both the speaker and listener should be familiar with the language.
Examples of verbal communication:
• Presentations, speeches, singing etc. are formal verbal communication types
• Conversations, Meetings etc. are informal verbal communication types
Following are the advantages of Verbal Communication:
➨It saves time in communication.
➨It is quick in obtaining feedback once delivered.
➨It provides complete understanding of communication delivered and there is chance to make it more clear in case of doubts in interpretation of words or ideas.
➨It is more reliable method of communication.
➨It is flexible and effective for all.
➨It is powerful means of persuasion and control.
Following are the disadvantages of Verbal Communication:
➨Emotions are visible and hence leads to trouble in certain cases.
➨It has no legal validity and hence will lead to problems in certain situations.
➨It does not provide permanent record unless it is recorded with modern means of storage.
➨It has issues when communicating with distant people.
➨It is difficult for certain people to understand speech due to various speech tones used in verbal communication.
➨This form of communication is not suitable for lengthy message.
Written Communication – Meaning, Advantages and Disadvantages
Written communication has great significance in today’s world. It is an innovative activity of the mind. Effective written communication is essential for preparing worthy material. Speech came before writing. But writing is more unique and formal than speech. Effective writing involves careful choice of words, their organization in correct order in sentences formation as well as cohesive composition of sentences. Also, writing is more valid and reliable than speech. But while speech is spontaneous, writing causes delay and takes time as feedback is not immediate.
Advantages of Written Communication
Written communication helps in laying down apparent principles, policies and rules for running of an organization. It is a permanent means of communication. Thus, it is useful where record maintenance is required.
It assists in proper delegation of responsibilities. While in case of oral communication, it is impossible to fix and delegate responsibilities on the grounds of speech as it can be taken back by the speaker or he may refuse to acknowledge it. Written communication is more precise and explicit. Effective written communication develops and enhances an organization’s image. It provides ready records and references. Legal defenses can depend upon written communication as it provides valid records.
Disadvantages of Written Communication
Written communication does not save upon the costs. It costs huge in terms of stationery and the manpower employed in writing/typing and delivering letters. Also, if the receivers of the written message are separated by distance and if they need to clear their doubts, the response is not spontaneous. Written communication is time-consuming as the feedback is not immediate. The encoding and sending of message takes time. Effective written communication requires great skills and competencies in language and vocabulary use. Poor writing skills and quality have a negative impact on organization’s reputation. Too much paper work or e-mails burden is involved.
Differences between Formal and Informal Communication
Someone said correctly “The very attempt of, not to speak, speaks a lot.” Communication plays a crucial role in our life, as people interchange their ideas, information, feelings, and opinions by communicating. Formal communication is one that passes through predefined channels of communication throughout the organization. On the contrary, Informal communication refers to the form of communication which flows in every direction, i.e. it moves freely in the organization.
Definition of Formal Communication
The communication in which the flow of information is already defined is termed as Formal Communication. The communication follows a hierarchical chain of command which is established by the organization itself. In general, this type of communication is used exclusively in the workplace, and the employees are bound to follow it while performing their duties.
Example: Requests, commands, orders, reports etc.
The formal communication is of four types:
• Upward or Bottom-up: The communication in which the flow of information goes from subordinate to superior authority.
• Downward or Top-down: The communication in which the flow of information goes from superior to subordinate.
• Horizontal or Lateral: The communication between two employees of different departments working at the same level.
• Crosswise or Diagonal: The communication between the employees of two different departments working at different levels.
Definition of Informal Communication
The communication which does not follow any pre-defined channel for the transmission of information is known as informal communication. This type of communication moves freely in all directions, and thus, it is very quick and rapid. In any organization, this type of communication is very natural as people interact with each other about their professional life, personal life, and other matter.
Example: Sharing of feelings, casual discussion, gossips, etc.
The informal communication is of four types:
• Single Strand Chain: The communication in which one person tell something to another, who again says something to some other person and the process goes on.
• Cluster Chain: The communication in which one person tells something to some of its most trusted people, and then they tells them to their trustworthy friends and the communication continues.
• Probability Chain: The communication happens when a person randomly chooses some persons to pass on the information which is of little interest but not important.
• Gossip Chain: The communication starts when a person tells something to a group of people, and then they pass on the information to some more people and in this way the information is passed on to everyone.
Key Differences Between Formal and Informal Communication
The following points are substantial, so far as the difference between formal and informal communication is concerned.
- Formal communication is also known by the name of official communication. Informal Communication is also known by the name of grapevine.
- In formal communication, the information must follow a chain of command. Conversely, the informal communication can move freely in any direction.
- In formal communication, full secrecy is maintained, but in the case of informal communication maintenance of secrecy is a very tough task.
- Formal communication is written, whereas Informal communication is oral.
- Formal communication is time-consuming as opposed to Informal communication, which is rapid and quick.
- Formal communication is more reliable than Informal communication.
- Formal communication is designed by the organization. Informal communication starts itself due to the urge of ‘human to talk’.
- In formal communication, the documentary evidence is always available. On the other hand, in the case of informal communication, the supporting documents are not available.
TIPS FOR GOOD COMMUNICATION
Having strong communication skills aids in all aspects of life – from professional life to personal life and everything that falls in between. From a business standpoint, all transactions result from communication. Good communication skills are essential to allow others and yourself to understand information more accurately and quickly.
In contrast, poor communication skills lead to frequent misunderstanding and frustration.
How to Improve Your Communication Skills
Here are some pointers to look out for when looking to improve your ability to effectively communicate with others:
To become a good communicator, it is important to be a good listener. It is important to practice active listening – pay close attention to what others are saying and clarify ambiguities by rephrasing their questions for greater understanding.
Convey your message in as few words as possible. Do not use filler words and get straight to the point. Rambling will cause the listener to tune out or be unsure of what you are talking about. Avoid speaking excessively and do not use words that may confuse the audience.
3. Body language
It is important to practice good body language, use eye contact, utilize hand gestures, and watch the tone of the voice when communicating with others. A relaxed body stance with a friendly tone will aid in making you look approachable by others.
Eye contact is important in communication – look the person in the eye to indicate that you are focused on the conversation. But make sure to not stare at the person as it can make him or her uncomfortable.
Be confident in what you say and in your communication interactions with others. Being confident can be as easy as maintaining eye contact, maintaining a relaxed body stance, and talking with concision. Try not to make statements sound like questions and avoid trying to sound aggressive or demeaning.
In situations where you disagree with what someone else has to say, whether it be with an employer, a co-worker, or a friend, it is important to sympathize with their point of view rather than simply try to get your message across. Respect the opinion of others and never resort to demeaning those who do not agree with you.
Respecting what others have to say and acknowledging them is an important aspect of communication. Being respectful can be as simple as paying attention to what they have to say, using the person’s name, and not being distracted. By respecting others, the other person will feel appreciated, which will lead to a more honest and productive conversation.
7. Using the correct medium
There are several different forms of communication to use – it is important to choose the right one. For example, communicating in person about serious matters (layoffs, salary changes, etc.) is more appropriate than sending an email regarding the matter.
Good Communication Skills for a Great Career
Succeeding in your career requires good communication skills. You need to know what you want and how you are going to attain it. Being an excellent communicator can help propel your career.
Good communication skills can aid in helping you land an interview and pass the selection process. Being able to articulate well provides a significant advantage! To do your job effectively, you have to discuss problems, request information, interact with others, and have good human relations skill – these are all part of having good communication skills. They help in being understood well and in helping understand the needs of those around you.