Although communication skills are so important to success in the workplace, there are many people who find that there is a limit to their communication skills and that they seem to have hit a stumbling block in their progress. Advanced communication skills include the basic skills of communication and frame them within a general understanding of how the communication process works. In this ebook we will look at a variety of advanced communication skills, although in the next chapter we will begin with a discussion of some of the basics of communication.
Communication skills are the tools we use to remove the barriers to effective communication. Your ability to understand them clearly may depend on their ability to use communication skills. Instead, you can also use your own communication skills to ensure that you receive messages clearly as well.
THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
To be a good source, you need to be clear about the message you are sending. You'll also want to be sure you know why you're communicating. If you cannot summarize the information you need to share, you are not ready to begin the process of communication.
The channel is the communication method you choose, such as face-to-face, by telephone or by email. If you have communicated through writing, you can measure the success of your communication by the response you get or by seeing if the result you wanted is delivered. It involves the environment you are in and the one your audience is in, the culture of your organization(s), and elements such as the relationship between you and your audience.
ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION
If you are face to face with your audience, you can read body language and ask questions to ensure understanding. He asserted that non-verbal aspects of communication such as tone of voice and non-verbal gestures communicate much more than spoken words. He also found that people are more likely to trust your nonverbal communication than your verbal communication if the two are contradictory.
Tone includes the volume you use, the level and type of emotion you communicate, and the emphasis you place on the words you choose. The emphasis you place on the word draws the listener's attention, indicating that the word is somehow important. Given that we know that face-to-face communication delivers the most complete message, we know that verbal communication alone can be challenging in creating effective communication.
TAKING YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL This chapter has given you a brief review of the communications process and the elements
3 EXAMINING THE
- TYPES OF INPUT
- THE INTERNAL MAP, INTERNAL STATE, AND BEHAVIOR OR RESPONSE
- WHY THIS MATTERS
Distortion - Most filters will distort information so that the meaning a receiver applies to an input is not the same as the meaning the input would have for another receiver. The danger with this type of filter is that the meaning of the input can actually be very different. We will interpret input in light of our values and judge input based on our values.
In a business environment, we are likely to value our image as others see us, our reputation, the approval of our boss, the contribution of our colleagues, our work ethic, and our ability to make a difference in the workplace. In this case, our response to the input is likely to be negative, or at least skeptical. This skill will help you understand why someone might be communicating the way they are.
Now that the input has been filtered, it will be processed by the brain in order to make sense of it. If it sees a pattern it recognizes, it will automatically apply meaning to the input based on that existing pattern. The pictures we generate to make sense of the input are called the internal "map."
You processed the input in such a way that you understood that the meaning was negative, which led to an internal state such that you may have started to feel angry or sad or dissatisfied. Whatever that internal state is that is created will determine how you act and respond to the input you receive. In other words, the input you receive, filter and interpret will determine what and how you give back in response.
We can orchestrate the input we give in such a way that the other person can interpret it.
4 INTERNAL REPRESENTATION
- INTERNAL REPRESENTATION OF OUR WORLD
- LANGUAGE AS A REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM
- VERBAL CLUES
- VISUAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEM
- AUDITORY REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM
- KINAESTHETIC REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM
- AUDITORY DIGITAL REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM
- EYE MOVEMENTS AS AN INDICATION
- PHRASES FOR USE IN RESPONSE TO EACH REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM
We may think our experience is constructed in the same way as the language we use to talk about it and act within those boundaries – we allow the words to limit us. If you prefer to learn by listening to directions, listening to lectures, or reading, you are probably an auditory learner. If you prefer to learn by doing something hands-on or by trying it yourself, you are probably a kinesthetic learner.
If you pay attention, the person will give you clues through their language and behavior. The words someone uses give you an indication of the type of “mode” he or she is in: visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic. The words someone uses can give you an indication of the "mode" in which he or she is thinking: visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic.
Look at Figure 5 to get an idea of some of the common verbal language that people will use when they are in each form of internal representational thinking. If you respond with similar language, it signals to the other person that you think similarly - that you are on the same 'wavelength' as them. Now that you have a general understanding of how the words a person uses can indicate the mode in which they are currently thinking, let's look at each mode in more detail.
Imagine that you are facing the person in the figure to understand the directions of the eye movement. You recall them from memory because they are things that you have seen before. You use visual construction when you visualize something you have never seen before or you make something up in your head.
This is when you remember sounds or voices that you have heard before or things that you have said to yourself before. This is where your eyes go when you are having internal dialogue and talking to yourself. This is one way body language can help you understand how you are communicating with another person, because the eyes are often the key to knowing what 'wavelength' the other person is on at that moment and what form of communication they are likely to be using will best understand what you have to say.
5 BUILDING RAPPORT
- SIX STEPS TO BUILDING RAPPORT
- PERECEPTUAL POSITIONS
This is a good reason to understand body language because you can use it to intentionally communicate that you are on the same page as another person. The next time you have a conversation you enjoy or want to make a good impression with, pay attention to their body language. When you are in a situation where you want to convey your support to someone else, you can intentionally mirror their body language.
If you're standing in the hallway and they lean to one side, mirror their action. It reaffirms that you are part of the same team, no matter what else may happen. You can also use this tool to gauge whether or not others are buying what you're saying.
If you are communicating with a person who has a different accent than your own, also be careful not to unconsciously imitate their accent. This is another subconscious way of showing that you are in support or agreement with the other person and can help you build a deeper rapport. This is a challenge for many people, because if you are a detail-oriented person, you will naturally feel that it is important to convey information to the other person in small, specific chunks.
Because you are the one who understands the importance of using the right 'chunk size' of information, you can adapt your own preference to that of the other person. When using these tools, it is important to remember to be subtle. If the person seems comfortable with what you are doing, then chances are you are building a good rapport.
You use the word “I” to refer to the other person because you are the other person at that moment.
6 TOOLS FOR ADVANCED COMMUNICATION
If you don't learn them, you won't be as effective a communicator as you could be. Have you ever had an experience where you thought something was difficult at first but eventually got the hang of it?
LINGUISTIC TOOLS FOR ADVANCED COMMUNICATORS
Presupposition – a presupposition is something that you have not stated, but which is assumed to be present or true so that your statement can be understood. When we complete your evaluation, you will feel confident about the next six months (we assume that the confidence will come or that we will do something that will make them feel confident - all we have to do is complete the evaluation) . As the economy picks up, we will see profits improve (we assume the economy will eventually recover).
Universal beliefs – stating something as a universal belief implies that there is no exception to what you are saying. You can use universal beliefs to get the person on your side and to accept or agree to what you say. Mark questions - this tool makes the other person think about what you said and then answer it in their mind.
Since we can think five times faster than we can talk, this can work well in deal building. Built-in commands are exactly what they sound like - a command in your language without telling someone to do something. You should now have a complete toolbox full of tools you can use to improve your communication skills.
Keep in mind that it takes time to learn these skills, but the energy and effort you put in will quickly be rewarded through improved relationships – both at work and outside of it.