Communication skills are the requisites of a successful personal and professional life. The word ‘Communication’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Communicare’ which means to share, to impart, or to transmit our views.
So, we can say that communication skills play a significant role in the expression of our thoughts. The crux of my today’s blog is why communication skills are so decisive in our lives and how we can improve them. Very often, my students ask me how they can have an excellent communication skills and my answer is, ‘Take out some time to sit, read, listen, think and to write which will eventually give way to speaking. Undoubtedly, they follow my words and they let me know about their progress whenever they meet me but gradually they either hide themselves or change their direction, as soon as they see me. This may sound hilarious yet this presents the real picture. Though, I know the reason of their changed and weird behaviour.
Actually my students are very enthusiastic and exuberant when they decide to improve their communication skills. They confine themselves to achieve the next level and they make their best efforts but after spending one-two weeks, they find this practice monotonous and boring and ultimately, they quit.
So, one thing is crystal clear that there’s no magic wand to transform our personality overnight. Learning something new be it a foreign language, cooking, meditation, or driving, requires a consistent and rigorous labour accompanied with a burning desire to excel. Those who make their desire a passion and don’t let the pessimism lead them, succeed at the end.
In this context, I would like to mention that first we’ll have to think why we want to learn something. What I mean here, is what the significance of skills is, we wish to acquire. So if we’ve the answer to this question, we won’t let our desires to die out.
So let’s come back to our topic of discussion which is pertaining to the vitality of our communication skills. Google says, “Communication is the heart of every organisation. Everything you do in the workplace results from communication. Therefore good reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are essential if tasks are going to be competed and goals achieved."
Hence, our communication skills usher us to the path to our success and their lack is a threat to our professional existence. The above elaboration clears the air and provides us with the concrete information so far the communication skills are concerned.
We need to excel at the five important skills and they are-
Why does listening come first? The answer is simple; a child learns his native language just by listening. He listens to the conversation and gradually starts comprehending and speaking afterwards. So my suggestion here is, we’ll have to take out time to listen to some piece of conversation over and over. Thus we can download a video with caption or subtitles and listen to it for not less than 25-30 days. This sounds quite boring? But we don’t have any other option. If we practice it persistently and determinedly, we’ll see a drastic change in our communication skills. But we’ll have to download another video after one month as this is an incessant process. We should have repetition of this process till we gain confidence. We must remember the saying ‘No pains, no gains.’
Thinking in the language, we want to be proficient, pushes us closer to our goal. I mean, it's really an excellent way to learn a foreign language.
Reading should become our daily ritual. It’s said that books are our best friends. It enriches our knowledge. A good reader is always equipped with wit and intelligence but we’ll have to select the reading material very carefully. A good book feeds our minds such as a balanced diet feeds our belly.
In order to improve our communication skills, we can purchase a comic book, a short story book or the English book of primary or junior class (can be selected as per our level) to improve our reading skill. We’ll have to devote 15-20 minutes every single day to read them. Moreover, we can keep a small notebook to note down the new words (Along with their usage).
We’re blessed to have modern technologies which have given us infinite opportunities to learn. Keeping a journal or writing a blog can help us to attain expertise up to a certain extent. We may have problem initially but we’ll surely achieve confidence later.
Speaking comes at the end. I mean after practising the above skills, we can focus our speaking skill. So we can give us a topic to speak for 2-5 minutes, we can record it and then can listen afterwards where we get stuck or what problems we come across while speaking.
Some Useful Sites
We can sign up in www.coursera for free. There are several courses which we can join without paying a single penny so we can learn from a native speaker as per our own convenience. Though, we’ll have to pay if we wish to be certified in a particular course.
We can find the videos of A. J. Hoge’s Effortless English Classes who teaches English in a very easy way. We can improve our verbal and non-verbal communication just by watching his videos.
Signing up in www.speaking.24 can help us to acquire confidence in speaking skill. This has members from all over the world and we can improve our speaking skills by continuous practice.
So we can facilitate ourselves by the wonderful courses which are offered by Dale Carnegie website. Though the courses offered, are very expensive yet we can look for some free resources available on the site, for instance, “8 Effective Listening Skills for Sales Professionals.”
The Muse can help us in various ways. It helps the students to enhance their creativity, improve punctuation and several other things. It places emphasis on even the minute details provided by a learner.
Quora is a wonderful app which helps us to get the answers to our questions. So we can learn how to frame sentences, punctuation usage, spellings and several other things. We can just type our questions and can get the guidance from the experts or we can also answer to the questions posted on the sight. The more we think in English, the more expert we become.
So, I’ve tried to give you some useful ways to enhance your communication skills. Yet we need to comprehend that without passion and consistency, we can’t excel at our communication skills. Thinking in English is also an easy practice with which we can improve very fast. Our non-verbal communication also matters a lot in our personality development and we'll discuss it some other day. So, fasten your belt and start today itself because there’s no tomorrow.