The 10 Basic Communication Skills

Your communication skills say a lot about who you are. Do you dare to improve them?

The communication skills that we possess determine the success of our interpersonal relationships, and, therefore, it is necessary to communicate well at work, with our friends, our family, and in general with all the people around us. Knowing and mastering basic communication skills has many benefits, such as helping to resolve differences or promoting trust and mutual respect.

For example, it is essential to have good communication skills when we face a  job interview or if  we live as a couple, since living together is a constant negotiation. Although communicating seems simple, much of what we communicate is misinterpreted or misunderstood. Of course, this can cause conflicts in both our professional and personal relationships.

Communication skills and their relationship with emotional balance

Learning to communicate effectively is a skill that should be part of the school curriculum. Being a competent communicator can make a difference in personal relationships, in the success of your professional career, and also  in your self-esteem and self-confidence, because it is part of the basic social skills.

The relationship between  emotional balance and communication skills has been demonstrated in many investigations, and, in fact, their training is a therapeutic technique that is used in psychologists’ offices because it provides benefits for the well-being of the patient.

The 10 basic communication skills

If something characterizes the happiest people, it is that they have communication skills that help them deal more satisfactorily with the different situations that arise in their day-to-day life. Don’t be discouraged if you have difficulty communicating because no one is born an expert. Communication, like other skills, can be learned and practiced. 

So read on to find out what the basic communication skills are.

1. Active listening

Knowing how to listen is a basic communication skill, but although it may seem simple, not everyone has this skill. Many times we only listen instead of listening, and other times, we listen to ourselves instead of listening to the other with a correct attitude. The active listening , as the name suggests, means active listening, ie mindfully. In other words, you have to pay attention with the five senses. Active listening refers to paying attention not only to what the person says, but also to the feelings, ideas or thoughts that the individual expresses.

If you want to delve into this topic, you can take a look at our article: ” Active listening: the key to communicate with others “

2. Empathy

In effective communication,  empathy is important to put yourself in the place of the other. In fact, empathy is one of the most important social skills, because it is necessary to live with others. Even if you do not totally agree with a coworker, an employee or a friend, you need to understand their point of view, because it also has their needs. In addition, putting yourself in the place of the other helps you to send a clearer and more effective message.

3. Emotional validation

But in addition to the two previous points, emotional validation must be taken into account, that is, acceptance and feedback to communicate better. Because when we have others in front of us, it is necessary to listen without judging and it is an essential requirement to communicate to the other person that they have been understood.

Emotional validation improves communication since the other interlocutor feels recognized and understood, and thus increases the verbalization of what he thinks. Emotional validation has a positive effect as it creates an environment of trust. Telling the other person that you understood them, showing them that you have been listening to them and making it clear that you respect their opinion are enough to create a conducive communicative environment.

4. Non-verbal language

Body posture, eye contact or gestures, that is,  non-verbal language (or non-verbal communication) also communicate. Being relaxed and conveying what we are trying to say can maximize the message we want to send to others. A study carried out by Albert Mehrabian states that in a face-to-face conversation, the verbal component is 35% and more than 65% is non-verbal communication. In Mehrabian’s own words: “The verbal component is used to communicate information and the non-verbal component to communicate personal states and attitudes.”

5. Conflict resolution and negotiation

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, and learning to manage and negotiate it is a healthy and essential way to make relationships work. Some individuals prefer not to face conflict to avoid the discomfort that they can generate. This only causes resentment and misunderstandings.

The ability to resolve conflicts efficiently requires calm, non-defensive, and respectful behavior. When you control your own emotions, you can communicate your own opinions without threatening or attacking others.

6. Verbal language

One of the basic elements of a good communicator is how you sound in front of others. Talking too softly or loudly, slurring words, or using too many filler terms such as “ah”, “eh” or “um” can cause the message and connection to the other party to be lost.

Therefore, it is necessary to be clear, use concrete examples, have a good capacity for improvisation, vocalize correctly, consider the times, and ultimately express correctly what we have in mind to connect with our interlocutor.

7. Read and write

Reading and writing are important to communicate. Reading enables intellectual development and, as a cognitive function, allows access to technological, scientific and information advances. Therefore, it helps to better understand reality, and being regular readers gives us the necessary tools to be able to critically dialogue.

Regarding writing, we do not always have to communicate orally, but it is important to have a good command of written communication. Nowadays, the  new information and communication technologies (ICT) have burst into our lives with force. Writing a cover letter to seduce a recruiter if we want a job or sending an email to a company to complain about their service requires this skill.

8. Respect

People are more open to communicate if we show respect for them and their ideas. Simple actions such as using your name or tweeting, having eye contact that indicates sincerity, and reflecting active listening make the other person feel respected and considered. In a relationship with a couple, for example, a nice gesture or sign of affection can almost instantly stop a tense and negative situation and return the relationship to a good channel for positive and affective communication.

9. Persuasion

The  persuasion is a key communication tool, especially in the business world, because it transforms ideas, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, and try to meet the needs of both parties. It usually has a bad reputation, because, in the wrong way, it can be confused with manipulation (doing something against your interests). Persuasion is the foundation of any successful negotiation.

10. Credibility

If we think about the previous point, it is impossible to persuade an audience if we do not demonstrate credibility and authority. Credibility generates trust, and, as with respect, trust is a great ally of communication. People are more receptive when there is trust. Therefore, it is necessary that you be consistent with what you say and what you do. For example, that there is harmony between your verbal and non-verbal communication.

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