Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Key features of a communications skills training program

Key features of a communications skills training program
According to former US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else do what you want done because they want to do it.”

According to the late president and war hero, effective leaders have the requisite skills to help others to realize their vision.  This is not possible without effective communication skills. However, such skills are not always inherent to our personalities (except for a lucky few) but rather have to be developed over a period of time though training and experience.
Some key aspects of a communications skills training program include:

· Listening actively

The first and foremost necessity for the development of good communications skills is to listen and listen well. That is with attention, not just to your supervisors and customers but also your subordinates too. Until you listen and understand, you cannot be in a position to empathize or respond adequately.  An effective communication skills training program should make you a better overall listener.

· Not being ‘me first’

This is another aspect of communication skills training. If you are more concerned with only talking about yourself or what you are going to say next, your chances of communicating effectively are slim.

· Not delivering monologues

Too many people start a conversation and simply drone on and on. Do not be monotonous, take breaks even short ones lasting a few seconds to give a chance to the audience to step in and say something.  Watch for cues that you have gone too far.

· Focusing on the topic under discussion

It is easy to lose focus during a conversation and let it meander on its own, but such conversations rarely ever produce productive results.  Losing focus and going down rabbit holes may also risk many important aspects of the discussion not getting their fair due.  

· Asking for feedback

If the other person is not responding or giving monosyllabic answers, you have probably already lost them. Ask for feedback and adjust.  Do not keep advocating.

· Being empathetic

Being empathetic is arguably one of the most important points to considering when it comes to communication skills training.  If a colleague is telling you about an incident that occurred in their life, that is not a signal for you to start reciting a similar incident from your own life experiences.  Not only would it de-motivate the speaker, but would make you seem self-centered and create a barrier to your interpersonal communication.

· Saying no to frequent interruptions

An effective communication skills training program should always emphasize the value of not interrupting. Interruptions show how little you value the other person’s opinion and often may be taken as a sign of disrespect. 

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