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Communication Skills Summary

Over the past several weeks I have written about communication best practices, including most of the concepts that we (Pathways) focus on when facilitating customer service or similar training. To wrap up this discussion, here is a summary of the key concepts we covered which for the most part, dealt with effective communication within your workplace.

The goal of interpersonal communication is to establish connections and build relationships with colleagues so that we are well equipped to pass and receive work-related messages efficiently and effectively. This helps to build operational efficiency, reduce stress and provide excellent service to our customers.

By communicating well – face-to-face, over the phone, through email and text and during stressful situations – we show respect for our colleagues and help to build a pleasant and effective workplace.

As a review, here are our tips on sending a clear message, and how to interpret messages with effective listening skills.

Send clear and concise messages by:

  • Choosing words well

  • Being aware of your tone and body language

  • Being aware of and reducing the impact of possible barriers to communicating your message such as language, physical or culture differences, emotional state, distractions

  • Being polite, friendly and professional at all times

  • Using tools and strategies such as ISTAR and the 5C’s to organize and deliver your messages logically and clearly

Hear and correctly understand messages someone is sending to us by:

  • Being aware of the speaker’s mental and emotional state.

  • Respecting the speaker by using active listening techniques.

  • Asking good questions for clarification.

  • Using tools such as Repeat-back to confirm you have understood.

Next week we will move on to a discussion regarding effective communication skills when speaking in public.

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