Communication Skills

Categories: Communication Skills

1. Summary

In summary, this report is based on the based on how the skill of effective communication can improve your writing, listening, conflict and anger management skills. It is seen that communication is the key to proper writing which is critical to tertiary education students as is required for the successful completion of a certificate, degree and masters. Also, communication can be an influential force in effective listening, which is important for job interviews, group projects and communication in the workplace.

Lastly, there is conflict and anger management which are problems that usually arrive due to the lack of adequate communication skills.

Introduction

2.1 Communication

Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; it involves a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit. Many of the problems that occur in an organization are the either the direct result of people failing to communicate and/or processes, which leads to confusion and can cause good plans to fail (U.

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S. Army, 1983). The following are elements of communication (Pearson, 1983):

As our modern generation continues to build and discover new ways to make life easier, the USPS (United States Postal Service) is having trouble adjusting. They still go by traditional ways which is time consuming. People may no longer need their services because of the newly developed way called “emailing”. The internet has provided a faster and cheaper way to send messages.

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Regardless, the USPS is an essential and simply needs to update their postal service.

The USPS has been delivering for over two centuries and has greatly expanded their service across the country. They provided job opportunities and a big success with the cross-country rail system. The USPS has made it this far, so they should keep providing services everywhere in the United States. The world may be changing, but we adapt to it. So can the USPS.

There are many ways the USPS can meet the needs of the people. Source A (Stone) As listed and explained, people today prefer to email. So the USPS should get into the emailing trend so their services could run a lot better. They can increase their services, advertise with coupons, and reorganize/motivate staff. The USPS should rebrand their company or come up with a catchy slogan that reflects on their company that it is up to date and reliable. A new slogan can make a great difference today.

Source C (O’Keefe) The USPS talks about a projection that will confirm change for the business. Customers are leaning towards the internet and other standard-mail options rather than USPS’s first-class mail. The USPS effort to gain what they had loss includes no Saturday deliveries, longer delivery times for letters and packages, higher-stamp prices and potential future layoffs. There will be flexibility and only changes that are necessary will be made.

The article, “Sending, Getting ‘Real’ Mail Still Magic.”, Source F (Cullen) Kevin Cullen talks about his opinions on the plummeting business of the USPS and how he prefers old-fashioned delivery. According to him, emailing is fast and simple, and fast and simple is what we’re all obsessed with. It gets things done faster and makes life easier. Regardless, Cullen reveals the value in receiving handwritten documents and letters, because people care less about “snail” mail. He mentions that it simply costs 44 cents to send a thank-you card from Danville to Sandybeach, Hawaii, or Alaska. A genuine bargain! Cullen explains that written documents, letters, and records would last much longer. Emailing is efficient, but electronic records wont last forever. They aren’t as valuable as a solid document, on real paper. The USPS has been going through difficult times since they had stopped making profit in 2006. Thanks to Cullen, there is hope that there’s someone out there who believes in old-fashioned delivery.

Although we encounter faster ways to deliver our letters and send messages, I personally believe in hand-written letters. They have value and effort put into them. The USPS may be facing difficult problems due to vast technology; but I believe they can make a comeback. There are many other people who probably have letters years ago, and can’t be taken away by a simple, “delete” button. There are no faulty complications when it comes to documents. Anyways, the USPS can improve their business in many ways and increase their services.

1.1.1 Communication Channels

This is the term given to the way in which we communicate. There are multiple communication channels available to us today, for example face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, text messages, email, the Internet (including social media such as Facebook and Twitter), radio and TV, written letters, brochures and reports to name just a few. As a result choosing an appropriate communication channel is vital for effective communication as each communication channel has different strengths and weaknesses.

1.1.2 Encoding Messages

All messages must be encoded into a form that can be conveyed by the communication channel chosen for the message. We all do this every day when transferring abstract thoughts into spoken words or a written form. However, other communication channels require different forms of encoding, e.g. text written for a report will not work well if broadcast via a radio programme, and the short, abbreviated text used in text messages would be inappropriate if sent via a letter. Complex data may be best communicated using a graph or chart or other visualisation. Effective communicators encode their messages with their intended audience in mind as well as the communication channel. This involves an appropriate use of language, conveying the information simply and clearly, anticipating and eliminating likely causes of confusion and misunderstanding, and knowing the receivers’ experience in decoding other similar communications. Successful encoding of messages is a vital skill in effective communication.

1.1.3 Decoding Messages

Once received, the receivers need to decode the message, and successful decoding is also a vital skill. Individuals will decode and understand messages in different ways based upon any Barriers to Communication which might be present, their experience and understanding of the context of the message, their psychological state, and the time and place of receipt as well as many other potential factors. Understanding how the message will be decoded, and anticipating as many of the potential sources of misunderstanding as possible, is the art of a successful communicator.

1.1.4 Feedback

Receivers of messages are likely to provide feedback on how they have understood the messages through both verbal and non-verbal reactions. Effective communicators should pay close attention to this feedback as it the only way to assess whether the message has been understood as intended, and it allows any confusion to be corrected. Bear in mind that the extent and form of feedback will vary according to the communication channel used: for example feedback during a face-to-face or telephone conversation will be immediate and direct, whilst feedback to messages conveyed via TV or radio will be indirect and may be delayed, or even conveyed through other media such as the Internet. Without the above elements it would be impossible to have effective communication.

2. Types of Communication

People communicate with each other in a number of ways that depend upon the message and its context in which it is being sent. Choice of communication channel and your style of communicating also affect communication. So, there are varieties of types of communication. Types of communication based on the communication channels used are (Muhammad, 2012):

Verbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

2.1 Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple). When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. Usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning. So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? How it would sound on the other side of the table?

Verbal Communication is further divided into:

  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication

2.1.1 Oral Communication

In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking. Advantages of Oral communication are:

It brings quick feedback.In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not. Disadvantage of oral communication:In face-to-face discussion, the user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering; as a result they may say the wrong thing.

2.1.2 Written Communication

In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used. Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills. Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used. Advantages of written communication include:

Messages can be edited and revised many times before it is actually sent. Written communication provides record for every message sent and can be saved for later study. A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.

Disadvantages of written communication include:Unlike oral communication, written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It takes more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. A number of people may struggle with their writing ability.

2.2 Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker. Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflect the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal responses contradict verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message. Nonverbal communication has the following three elements:

  1. Appearance of a Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmeticsSurrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings
  2. Body Language: Facial expressions, gestures, postures
  3. Sounds: Voice Tone, Volume, and Speech rate

3. Barriers to Communication

There exist many barriers to communication and these may occur at any stage in the communication process. Barriers may lead to your message becoming distorted and you therefore risk wasting both time and/or money by causing confusion and misunderstanding. Effective communication involves overcoming these barriers and conveying a clear and concise message.

3.1 Physical Barriers

An example of a physical barrier to communication is geographic distance between the sender and receiver(s). Communication is generally easier over shorter distances as more communication channels are available and less technology is required. Although modern technology often serves to reduce the impact of physical barriers, the advantages and disadvantages of each communication channel should be understood so that an appropriate channel can be used to overcome the physical barriers (Ting-Toomey and Chung, 2004).

3.2 Psychological/Emotional Barriers

To communicate effectively, according to McBride and Maitland (2001, p.117) you must clearly convey thoughts and emotions both verbally and nonverbally. Many times, emotional barriers on your part or the part of the person you are speaking with may inhibit your ability to communicate on an effective level. Your emotional state may influence your capacity to make yourself understood and hamper your understanding of others.

3.3 Cultural Barriers

Cultures provide people with ways of thinking—ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures, even when they talk the “same” language. When the languages are different, and translation has to be used to communicate, the potential for misunderstandings increases. Ting-Toomey and Chung (2004) describes three ways in which culture interferes with communication as:

  1. Cognitive Constraints — These are the frames of reference or world views that provide a backdrop that all new information is compared to or inserted into.
  2. Behaviour Constraints — Each culture has its own rules about proper behaviour which affect verbal and nonverbal communication. 3. Emotional Constraints — Different cultures regulate the display of emotion differently. Some cultures get very emotional when they are debating an issue. However, this fails to take account of “Linguistic Constraints” that may be involved when communicating with someone from a different culture. The lack of knowledge about all barriers can hinder your attempt to communicate effectively.

3. Effective Listening

3.1 Listening

It is vital to keep an open mind while you are listening. If you have already judged a situation and come to an option you are likely to hear only those things which are consistent with your existing opinion. Focus on what the speaker is saying and how they are saying it. Failure to adhere to these rules it may make it difficult for you to communicate effectively and clearly understand what is expected of you, whether the requirements for an assignment or specifications for a module. Effective listening will be crucial to your success in writing for educational advance (Cameron, 2009).

Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. There are many different reasons for why people communicate, we need communication to express our needs and feelings for example a baby cannot talk to us and tell us what he/she needs so instead he/she would begin to cry to let us know that he/she is due for a feed. Another example would be if a colleague was missing her breaks because there was a staff shortage and she was cross about this, she would then talk to her supervisor and explain her reasons for being cross.

Communication is important in a workplace setting because people must interact with one another in ways that will get the job done as quickly and effectively as possible (eNotes. (2013), study smarter).

Read more: Identify the different reasons people communicate essay

4.Effective Communication at the Workplace

Communication is also very important to be able to build new relationships, with that being with the staff or children, if for example there was a fight in the playground which led to some of the children falling out then the staff could arrange some kind of team building activities, to help the children become friends again. Another example would be when the children have just started school or nursery, the staff could sit all the children in a circle and get them to say their names ad one thing they like doing, so the children are aware of others who like to do the same as them.

Communication is also important to be able to give and receive information, this could be as simple as sending a letter home with a child to tell their parents about a forth coming event, like a parents evening or if there was a incident in school that the parents of the child would need to be aware off. Or to arrange after school clubs for children and the parents to be able to bond more.

Communication is also important when we want to share are thoughts and ideas, for example if in nursery the staff could give the children a piece of paper to write down what they want to do more of then the staff could make an activity based on the children’s ideas.

Another example would be if the
staff of a setting wanted to involve the parents in after school activities then they could send home a question to ask the parents what they would enjoy doing. Communication is also important the be able to affirm one another, Affirmation is a statement of a positive effect (k.Hoban -2006) this is a good type of communication as it also helps the child’s development. You can use affirmation to make someone feel better about something they’ve done.

For example a 9 month year old baby has just said da,da for the first the parents would praise the child by picking them up and hugging them and smiling. Another example would be a simple high five if a young child is doing something right like they have just finished a jigsaw or been to toilet when they needed to go.

1.2 Explain how communication affects relationship in the work setting.

In order to work effectively with children, young people and their families, and so that we can plan for and meet their needs in order to do this we need good communication skills. Practitioners who have good communication skills are likely to have stronger relationships with children and their parents. This is because relationships are influenced by the body language, facial expression and ways in which others listen and talk to you. (Tassoni,2012)

Without communication in the workplace there would be no good relationships, without relationships I the workplace there will be no trust so any relationships would break down leading to conflict and the staff possibly leaving a bad influence on the children. Also peoples personalities can affect relationships in the workplace because for example say someone has a really bubbly personalities, and someone else is quite shy then that might be intimidating meaning that the shy person may not want to express any ideas they have, leading to them not being as involved as they would like to be.

With good communication skills we will find that people will have more of a positive attitude which will make others be more positive around them, creating a positive vibe throughout the workplace, it can also lead to stronger teamwork which will build trust, And then with the children if you
show that you care, for example just listening to them talk, then the child will feel more attached to you meaning they will come to you with any concerns.

4. Conflict and Anger Management

4.1 Conflict

Conflict is a lack of agreement between opinions and principles of needs, values and interests. Conflict can be internal (within oneself) or external (between two or more individuals). Conflict as a concept can help explain many aspects of social life such as social disagreement, conflict of interests, and fights between individuals, groups or organisations. In political terms, “conflict” can refer to wars, revolutions or other struggles, which may involve the use of force as in the term “armed conflict” (Myers, 2007). Conflict can be a major hindrance for effective communication, but can be controlled through proper communication skills.

4.2 Anger Management

Anger is an emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged, or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation. Anger is a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation. The term anger management commonly refers to a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which someone with excessive or uncontrollable anger and aggression can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an angered emotional state (Centrec Care, 2002). Through networks that facilitates proper communication such as therapy or counselling one can learn how to proper deal with their anger which can be a barrier to effective communication.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, these are all ways by which communication can be helpful to an individual who is interesting in building their employability, writing and interpersonal skills. Communication is vital to everyday task and can be the deciding factor on its successful completion or failure. Effective communication is a skill that can be applied to a wide variety of other skills. Once used properly this is no limit to the new skills you can attain.

6. Recommendations

The purpose of this report is to inform readers on the importance of having effective communication skills and how it can help improve your other skills such as listening, writing and conflict management. I recommend that reader try to implement each of the listed skills above through communication to help them advance in their goals. Whether it is to listen more and talk less or just being aware of your tone and body language when communicating to others. You may be surprised by the difference in response you may receive from others.

References

  1. SkillsYouNeed, 2013. What is Communication? [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 December 2013].
  2. SkillsYouNeed, 2013. Barriers to Effective Communication. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 December 2013].
  3. McBride, P. and Maitland, S., 2001. The EI Advantage: Putting Emotional Intelligence into Practice. [e-book] Berkshire: McGraw Hill Professional. Available at: Google Books [Accessed 30 November 2013].
  4. Ting-Toomey, S. and Chung. C. L., 2004. Understanding Intercultural Communication. [e-book] USA: Oxford University Press. Available at: Google Books [Accessed 30 November 2013].
  5. Cameron, S., 2009. The Business Student’s Handbook: Skills for Study and Employment. 5th ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
  6. Muhammad, A. B., 2012. Communication Process. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 December 2013].
  7. U.S. Army, 1983. Military Leadership. FM 22-100. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  8. Pearson, J., 1983. Interpersonal Communication. Illinois: Scott, Foreman and Company.
  9. Myers, G. D., 2007. Social Psychology. 9th ed. Berkshire: McGraw Hill Professional.
  10. Centrec Care, 2002. Anger Management Counselling. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 December 2013].

Cite this page

Communication Skills. (2016, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/communication-skills-essay

Communication Skills

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