Three Benefits of Improving Communication Skills
Listing all the benefits of improving communication skills are too many to fit into one article, but let’s take a look at three of the biggies.
1. Improving Communication Skills Result in Improving Relationships
One of the biggest issues facing relationships is the lack of clear, respectful communication. It’s possible to communicate whatever it is you need to say, the key is how you say it. But it doesn’t end there. Communication also includes listening. Speaking and listening are two sides of the same coin.
For effective communciation to take place, both the speaker and the listener have to own their respective responsibilities. Speakers need know what is their message and choose their words that best suits the way the listener can receive the message. The receiver of the message, the listener, has to focus on the speaker, filter out distractions, and ensure that the words being communicated are understood. Neither role is particularly easy nor are they difficult. They do, however, take some effort but it’s worth it and your relationship will be better for it.
2. Improving Communication Skills Reduces Conflict
Effective communication is the first step to avoiding conflict but when conflict does occur, a skilled communicator can begin to repair the issue. This can be done several ways and one is to ask respectful questions and listen, without judgment to the response.
For example, perhaps you don’t know why some conflict arose between you and a colleague. You could ask, “What did I say that created the tension between us?” Then listen. Listen even if you don’t like the answer. The point isn’t if the response makes you feel good or bad or whether you agree or not, the point is to let the other person communicate why they’re upset and for you to have the opportunity to understand them. It can be very challenging to remove emotion from communication, but when you’re improving communication skills, you learn to work your way around the emotion – yours and theirs. It’s more likely that you’ll be able to resolve, or at least reduce the intensity of, the conflict.
3. Improving Communication Skills Makes You a Better Leader
Leaders know that goals are achieved with and through others and it’s the leader who has effective communication skills who will succeed. When you’re a good communicator, you have the ability to clearly communicate to your team plans, direction and expectations as you motivate and inspire them to work towards achieving their goals. When improving communication skills, you’ll understand how to best communicate your message at the right time, through the right medium, to the right people, using the most effective tone and the best words. Sounds like a lot and it is. That’s why communication is a skill and has to be learned, developed and practiced.
Improving Communication Skills Benefits All Areas of Your Life
Even though we, most often, work on improving communication skills through our place of work, it probably doesn’t really surprise anyone that good communication skills affect every area of our lives. Because effective communication is key to good relationships, the better we are at communicating, the more enjoyable all our relationships will be – at work, at home and in the community. Even if there were only these three reasons for improving communication skills, they are undoubtedly the most valuable skills you’ll ever develop.