communicationThere was once a time where communication skills were measured by simply having the ability to speak and understand a particular language. Orders were barked in the workplace, even in the home, and this was believed to be “communication”. While we actually know better today; that true communication is a two-way-street. No-one truly enjoys a one-sided conversation – except perhaps people with particularly stubborn egos, who enjoy the sound of their own voice.

There are obviously different ways of communication according to circumstance, or the person we are communicating with – for example in the workplace. Here it is best to be as straightforward as possible, being vague does not get the job done. It is necessary to spell out “what, where, when and why”, in as concise, and clear manner as possible; while still giving the employee in question, 100% of your attention, and the freedom to ask questions too. However, communicating to a child, means taking a different approach.

It is not easy to communicate with a child, simply because they are a child. They have a different outlook on the world, and need quality communication, and attention from parents, and other adults. While it is fine to communicate – have you cleaned your room, done your homework, brushed your teeth and so on; this is not true attention. When communicating we need to listen more, really give the child attention – be there 100% – listen while they speak, rather than tell them what to do.

A good ability to communicate is therefore not deemed to be one particular skill-set. It is a circumstantial skill which is adapted to various types of situations. But the one thing that great communicators do have in common, is the ability for that person to offer absolutely 100% of their attention to the other person, or persons with whom they are communicating. These are the types of people who know that the world does not revolve around them.

Great communicators are people who believe in the concept that if you can’t say something nice, don’t bother saying it at all. But they also do not mince words when there is bad news to deliver. Quality “no’s” are easier to accept, than wishy-washy maybe’s. They take responsibility for the words they deliver, and often display the best leadership skills.

Good interaction skills are vital in every-day life, where emotional intelligence also plays a huge role. Women, not always, but often, tend to embrace emotion more naturally than men, and we all know that with women a little conversation can go a very long way. This is where women with good communication skills also know when to drop a conversation, it can always be re-visited later. Emotional fatigue comes easily to men, but this does not mean that they are disinterested, simply needing to take a break.  Timing is as important as attention for communicating couples.

Fundamentally what we have come to understand about communication, is that good skill is required for virtually every facet of life. If we cannot walk into our hairdresser and tell her that we hate the way we look in bangs even though we know that hairdresser loves the way bangs look on us, we are destined to spend the rest of our life wearing what we dislike the most.