How To Develop Communication Skills In 2021

In life and the workplace in specific, you need certain skills for career success. Effective communication skills have been known as one of the leading fundamental skills you will need to handle personal relationships, colleagues, and the general public.

When defining communication skills, ensure to understand that communication takes place in diverse forms and may also be construed in various ways, depending on how the speaker is understood. We use different skills to convey communication, from writing to speaking to listening to the use of body language. Nevertheless, the above is not enough to determine solid communication skills. You must be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a simple and clear-cut manner. This way, your audience would relate to you easily.

Developing communication skills is necessary for cultivating good leadership skills at work and elsewhere. Good communications are needed for business performance and career advancement. You must learn how to present your ideas to colleagues and managers if you must succeed in your workplace. Personal relationships also need good communication skills to thrive. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before it would hit the rock. Therefore, strive to develop your communication skills in such a way that relates with others comes naturally to you. 

This article is here to show you ways you can develop your communication skills in 2021.

What are Communication Skills?

Communication skills are the skills you can use to convey your message clearly and unambiguously. They involve distributing information in a way that they resound with the audience. They must be succinct enough to enable the audience to easily assimilate the message.

Effective communication has to do with how you understand instructions, acquire new skills, make requests, ask questions and transmit information with simplicity. As an employer in 2021, good communication skills are the basic skills you must possess to achieve success in your organization.

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What are the Major Types of Communication Skills

Three basic communication skills exist and they are verbal, nonverbal, and written communication.

Verbal communication has to do with conveying your desired information using words and sentences. It involves the use of speech and verbal interactions such as speaking and listening to convey and receive messages.

Nonverbal communication encompasses transmitting a message from one person to another with the use of signals like gestures, facial expressions, and body language. 

Gestures involve hand signals, finger signals, and so on. Facial expressions include smiling, laughing, frowning, etc. Body language includes posture, eye contact, nodding, among others.

Written communication has to do with passing information in written form. This can be categorized into three, thus: mediated writing, non-mediated writing, and electronic writing.

Mediated writing includes the use of blogs and other platforms where feedback is not received immediately but until the recipient issues a written comment. Non-mediated writing includes messages that can be read or heard directly from the sender. Examples include letters, notes, and books. Electronic communications are in form of instant messaging, texts, and emails. 

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Nonverbal Communication Skills You Need In 2021

Nonverbal communication skills occur when you convey your ideas, feelings, and moods in ways other than verbal cues. They are very crucial for you to impress your employer with your interpersonal skills. Some people rely more on nonverbal cues to administer their judgment, though it may not be the best as there are factors that might cause one to transmit the wrong signals during communication. However, they are relevant in today’s business. The top positive nonverbal communication skills include:

  • Eye contact
  • Correct posture
  • Attentiveness
  • Vocal tone
  • Facial expressions
  • Firm handshake
  • Maintaining personal space
  • Appearing professional
  • Display of interest in the discussion

Nonverbal communication skills can involve conscious, semiconscious, and unconscious and features. Much of the nonverbal communication skills are interpreted by the other person unconsciously.

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Tips to Develop Your Communication Skills

The way you deliver your message will determine how well it will be understood by the recipients. If you want to deliver a clear and straightforward message, then, you need the following skills in your message:

1. Right attitude

You need a positive and open-minded approach to convey your message effectively. Find out how you can be of good help to the other person, rather than wondering what you will gain. Again, identify ways you can work together harmoniously to achieve a common goal. The right attitude will always help you to help out, be open to new ideas and simplify interactions.

2. Use the right tone and pitch

Your tone of voice is necessary to make a good impression. Your tone could be negative or positive, depending on what you intend to achieve. Negative tones could be sarcastic, rude, or unpleasant, while positive tones could be cheerful, appealing, or pleasant. You can also convey your mood through your tone. Therefore, beware of how your tone sounds so as to pass the right information at the right time.

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3. Eradicate filler words and hedging words

The tendency of your using filler and hedging words during conversations is there, except you have mastered the art of communicating without them. Effective communications skills do not involve such words. Therefore, they can be a sort of distraction to your listener. 

Filler words include, “um,” “you know,” etc. while hedging words include words like, “I think,” “maybe,” etc. Use meaningful words instead of filler words. Also, hedging words tend to cause your listener to question your ability to state actualities. Therefore, avoid them at all costs.

4. Focus on the point

If you fail to focus on the crux of the message, you make it difficult for everyone present to understand you. Use lesser words and short sentences. Shun ambiguity and vagueness, while maintaining clarity and straightforwardness. Avoid the use of jargon and as they are only specific to a particular group of people.

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5. Communicate confidently

You must be able to convey your message without delay. Confidence helps you to speak with authority and assurance while being comfortable in your skin. Confidence can be conveyed both verbally and nonverbally. To appear confident, you must:

  • Be aware of your posture. Stand or sit upright
  • Pause once in a while to put yourself together
  • Pay attention to details
  • Focus on your audience and get them to do the same to you
  • Don’t be overconfident. Just feel comfortable

Resources To Help You Develop Your Communication Skills

The best way you can develop yourself is by improving your communication skills. Here are the three resources you need to develop your communication skills in 2021:

1. Good books

Read books that are specifically on communication. They will help you to change the ways you interact with others. There are a lot of books focusing on communication, verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. Some books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, among others can be of good help.

2. Online courses

Taking online courses may work for you in certain ways. You will be given practical tasks to help you put the concepts you learned to practice. There are numerous online courses scattered all over the internet, both paid and free, with certificates and without. Sites like Udemy, Study.com, edX, and Alison are good places to take online courses.

3. Real-life seminars and courses

Attending real-life events will help you to communicate one-on-one with people. There are workshops and courses around you that you can attend. They may require some payments. What matters the most is what you will gain from that.

More importantly to these resources is your ability to practice what you have learned. Meet with people whenever you can and hold meaningful interactions. Also, make great impressions using your knowledge and resources.

Why You Should Improve Your Communication Skills

Improving your communication skills can be very helpful in every area of your life, ranging from personal to professional to social life. You must not overlook the ability to communicate accurate and clear information. The following are some of the reasons you should develop good communication skills:

1. It gives a boost to your career life

if you are applying for a job or wish to get promoted, you most definitely need to establish good communication skills. You will need it to speak properly, maintain eye contact and adapt your language to suit your audience. You will also demonstrate good communication skills by listening attentively, present your idea properly, write clearly and concisely and fit into a group. 

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As you progress in your profession, the need for more developed communication skills arises. This is why you must keep developing your skills.

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2. It improves your personal life

you will need good communication skills to develop your personal relationships. There is always a need to understand others and be understood by them. Effective communication skills are non-negotiable in your personal life.

Without solid communication, personal relationships will break down, including marriages. It is not just about talking but the ability to listen attentively is also important. In whatever you want to discuss with families, friends, and colleagues, good communication must be at the center of it all.

3. It boosts your corporate relationship

On a wider range, good communication skills can help your interactions with other businesses and organizations. It will help you to get your point understood across all people concerned. It also enables you to handle criticism and pour out your mind when you are wrongly treated without hurting anyone. 

Good communication can improve how you go about life and smoothen your relationship with others. On the other hand, poor communication skills can destroy your relationships with others and make it difficult for them to come around you. 

You need to spend quality time honing your communication skills. By so doing, you will not find it difficult to fit into any environment. Another area you must focus on is yourself. You must be self-aware and reflect on your past success and failure and the issues that brought about them.

Developing excellent communication skills should be seen as a life-term project. This is because you will always learn different ways to communicate as long as you meet people daily.

Conclusion

Having gone this far in understanding ways to develop your communication skills, you must try your best to keep getting better. It is a daily walk, just the way you take your personal development seriously. In fact, good communication skills are also part of personal development. As you can see, they are inevitable to your advancement in life.

It may not be easy, however, what matters is that you are consistent in those little efforts you make. Keep it up, you are almost there.

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