Sunday, 21 March 2010

Communication Skills

Communicating well.

There are many obstacles to effective communication. As managers we will spend as much as 70% of our working time in verbal communication.  We learn to talk very early in life and tend to take the way we do it for granted. If we engage in any further verbal communication training in adult life then it is often about how we present to a group, how we express ourselves, how we can communicate our requirements more clearly in order to get what we need to be done actually  done. The main focus is on talking.

Being a good listener is a different skill. There is a story which makes the distinction between the skills of two famous, successful and contemporary British politicians who are reported as loathing each other. A young women had the good fortune to dine out in London two nights in a row and at the first dinner party was sat next to William Gladstone and at the second next to Benjamin Disraeli. On giving a summary of the experience she reported that she had engaged in fascinating conversation with both of them and that after meeting Gladstone had been left with the impression that he was the smartest man in London but that after spending time with Disraeli she was left with the impression that she was the smartest women in all of England.

This story may not be fact but is one that was used at the time to highlight the difference in the verbal  communication styles of these two successful politicians.

Effective Listening.
As managers we will often have a crowded schedule with little time for reflection. The people who work with us may have trouble finding a moment to raise an idea or a concern. Invariably we seem to get interrupted at the most inconvenient moments and push away a discussion.  This can be problematic for two good reasons.  The nagging concern that we may be missing something important and the negative impact on the person trying to impart the information.

So how can we be better listeners as managers?

Make time for the discussion. If  you can not talk now then set a time when you can.

Avoid distractions. There is nothing worse than to try and talk to someone who continues to do their email or read messages on their PDA when you are trying to communicate something important.

Be engaged and make the decision to actually listen.

Here are some ways that you can communicate to the other person that you are listening and at the same time these techniques will also result in you  hearing more of what they are saying.

Terms relevant to this article: 
Communication skills, communication, leadership tips listening skills, effective listening, leadership skills, management skills, top management skills top leadership skills, how to communicate

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  1. Communication is a way to understand things you do not know. Its a way of interacting from one person to another. In business, communication helps to build up team work and good working relationship. One the good example of the proper usage of good communication is the management consultants stating the idea and being very particular in communicating to their clients to be able to asses the thing and to make a smooth successful plan.

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