Chapter 4 Communication Skills
Communication is one of the most basic skills; often we are doing it without even noticing or thinking about it. Yet it also turns out to be one of the most complicated skills – one that requires continual honing. Communication involves both a sender and a receiver. Sometimes the communication is one-way (e.g. the TV) or two-way (e.g. a conversation). Sometimes the receiver is a group (e.g. a lecture) and sometimes the roles of senders and receivers are fluid (e.g. a group conversation where different people become the senders at different times). Any time the message is misinterpreted, there is a breakdown in the communication process, and this serves as the impetus of conflict. Good communication skills may be the most important skills for success in life!
No one is a perfect communicator; even the most skilled communicators can have issues with clarity and struggle in different scenarios. Even areas that are strengths for people in one context may not be in another. Being aware of and strengthening communication skills will be an asset in many areas of your life. It is important that you remember that making small changes in your communication skills can make a big difference in your work, home and school.
In this chapter you will learn about styles of communication, barriers to communication, and several aspects of good communication skills. As you learn about them, try to apply them in your real life circumstances.
In this chapter on “Communication Skills,” students will:
- Demonstrate active listening skills.
- Ask effective questions to facilitate understanding.
- Apply communication strategies in educational settings.
- Demonstrate the value and strengths of team and group work.