Language and Linguistics

The Ten basic communication skills

communication skills and their description

The Ten basic communication skills

The communication skills 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 brings many benefits, such as helping to resolve differences or promote 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 coexistence is a constant negotiation. Although communicating seems simple, much of what we communicate is misunderstood 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, in addition,  in your self-esteem and your self-confidence , because it is part of the elementary social skills.

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

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 daily lives. Do not be discouraged if you have difficulty communicating because nobody is born an expert . Communication, like other skills, can be learned and practiced. 

1. Active listening

Knowing how to listen is a basic communication skill, but, although it seems simple, not everyone has this ability . Many times we only hear 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, with full attention. In other words, you have to pay attention to the five senses. Active listening refers to attending not only to what the person says, but also to the feelings, ideas or thoughts that the individual expresses.

2. Empathy

In effective communication,  empathy is important to place 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 don’t totally agree with a co-worker, with an employee or with a friend, you need to understand his point of view, because he also has his needs . Also, putting yourself in the place of the other helps you when sending a clearer and more effective message.

3. Emotional validation

But in addition to the previous two points, emotional validation must be taken into account , that is, acceptance and feedback to better communicate. Because when we have others in front of us, it is necessary to listen without judging and it is an indispensable requirement to communicate to the other person that has 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 because it creates an environment of trust. Telling the other person that you have understood him, showing him that you have been listening to him and making it clear that you respect his opinion are enough to create a conducive communicative environment.

4. Nonverbal language

Body posture, eye contact or gestures, that is,  nonverbal language (or nonverbal 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 conducted by Albert Mehrabian states that in a face-to-face conversation, the verbal component is 35% and more than 65% is nonverbal communication . According to the words of Mehrabian himself: “The verbal component is used to communicate information and the nonverbal component to communicate states and personal attitudes.”

5. Conflict resolution and negotiation

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

The ability to resolve conflicts efficiently requires a calm, non-defensive and respectful performance. When one controls one’s emotions, it is possible to communicate one’s opinions without threatening or attacking others.

6. Verbal language

One of the basic elements of a good communicator is how it sounds in front of others. Speaking too loudly or loudly, dragging words, or using too many fill-in terms such as “ah”, “eh” or “um”, may cause the message and the connection to the interlocutor to be lost.

Therefore, it is necessary to be clear, use concrete examples, have a good improvisation ability, 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 dialogue critically.

Regarding writing, we don’t always have to communicate orally, but it is important to have a good command of written communication. At present,  new information and communication technologies (ICT) have broken into our lives. Writing a cover letter to seduce a recruiter if we want a job or send an email to a company to complain about their service require this skill.

8. Respect

People are more open to communicate if we show respect for them and their ideas . Simple actions such as using his name or guarding him, having eye contact that indicates sincerity, and reflecting active listening makes the other people feel respected and taken into consideration. In a relationship, for example, a beautiful 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 effective 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 basis 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 builds trust, and, as with respect, trust is a great ally of communication. People are more receptive when there is trust. Therefore, you need to be consistent with what you say and what you do. For example, that there is harmony between your verbal and nonverbal communication.

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