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What is the importance of communication skills?

Written By

Dan Weigold

Personal Development and Empowerment Coach

Briefly Speaking

Find out the importance of communication skills and how to refine them to perfection.
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The importance of communication skills is evident in all aspects of life. In the workplace, a lack of communication results in misunderstandings and builds emotional walls. These barriers create a huge dimension of issues: employees may not understand where their co-workers are coming from, develop anger towards co-workers, and wonder why they are not good enough for a job.

A lack of communication skills in the workforce results from a lack of training. Employees must learn how to refrain from building emotional barriers and understand what their co-workers are really trying to tell them. The speaker in a conversation must convey his message with precision while the receiver listens and clarifies his understanding of the message to the speaker.

In this way, the speaker can know for certain whether he accurately communicated his message to the receiver.In addition, employees should use “I-statements” instead of “you-statements.” For example, read the two following messages as one employee tells his co-worker he needs to do a better job:

  1. “This is all your fault. You need to learn how to do your job correctly.”

  2. I understand what you are saying. Maybe I can show you what I was really looking for.”
In the first example, the employee pointed his finger at his co-worker with a you-statement and clearly blamed him for poor performance. Accusations like this will raise an immediate barrier and the receiver may respond with intensity and anger. The receiver may also bring up something that really isn’t the issue at the moment in an effort to defend himself. On the other hand, in the second example, the employee uses an I-statement to effectively communicate the need for improvement to his co-worker.

The importance of communication skills becomes evident when you think about the potential consequences of poor communication skills — at work, when the economy is bad, you may be the first one laid off or fired when higher ups realize you are not communicating effectively or willing to work things out. For a company to run smoothly, it is easier to get rid of employees with poor communication skills. Although poor communication skills are not the sole reason for firings or layoffs, it is certainly a major contributing factor.

In your personal life, the importance of communication skills plays the same role as in your career. A lack of communication can build barriers between you and your significant other. These barriers have the potential to break a relationship up in the same way they can get you fired. Furthermore, you can take the same measures to communicate with your significant other as the previously mentioned techniques to promote healthy communication in the business world.

In both your career and your relationships, be aware of how you are interacting in situations. Sit down and evaluate your communication skills. Here are some questions you can actively ask yourself:

  • What problems are you experiencing?
  • What happens when you communicate?
  • Where do you see yourself in the conversation?
  • How are you responding to the other person?
  • Are you listening or paying attention to what they are saying?
  • Are you reframing and validating the message to the speaker so he or she knows you were paying attention?

After interactions filled with intensity and anger, calm down and let the anger dissipate until you can sit down and ask yourself these questions. In this way, you can find out what created the conflict in the first place, what you would like to do about it, and move into a much safer and healthy domain.

On the positive side, the importance of communication skills is obvious through the successes of great communicators. For example, Tony Robbins used communication skills to inspire change in thousands of people’s lives. In a similar way, Barack Obama’s ability to communicate and use the right rhetoric made people believe in his message and vote for him. His communication skills inspired voters and won an election.

With a vision and a dream, you can use communication skills to inspire and lift others out of hopelessness and despair. Well chosen words can motivate others and build their confidence. Great communication can make a difference in other people’s lives, build you up, and take you places. Regardless of the path you take, the importance of communication skills is undeniable.

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