You see and hear this word in many cases, be it classroom, presentation, job requirement or relationship: communication skill.
Some people are good at it and others are not. But what is it anyway and how can we improve it? Let me introduce some unusual ways that I think can improve communication skills. Since I am not even a specialist or anything, it will be a good reminder for me as well.
What is communication
First of all, communication occurs when there is more than one person, and it is all about delivering and receiving message. That is, those who can convey message or those who can listen to others well are good communicators, and those who can do both well are what I think great communicators.
Key of deliverying message
In terms of delivering message, there are so many people who don’t even care how and what messages are delivered, as if it doesn’t matter who the lister is (we know that from some too long irrelevant presentation). So the what’s important here is whether or not you consider others and speak to them, sometimes by changing the way you want to deliver the message. Sometimes we misunderstand that those who talk a lot are good at communicating, but good communicator can be introverted, as long as s/he cares the others and emit message.
Key of the receiving messages
On the other hand, when it comes to listening, it is very essential for good communication, since if you know that other person you are talking to listens to you, you feel better and appreciate it. In other words, if someone is not listening to you well, you notice immediately (unless speaker doesn’t look at the lister either). Also, many people live in the modern society where there are more and more people who cannot pay attention to the real communication due to the advent of other tools (smartphone, PC, TV, etc.)
So in the end, both delivering and receiving message well is about if you care others or not. And let me introduce some ways to improve that skill.
How to practice communication skills
1. Ball sports
It can be play catch, kicking the ball with each other, pingpong, tennis, etc. The more you practice and pay attention to others, the better you get at in ball sports, and this will be a good practice to care other people.
It can be theater acting, music or comedy. You have to care audience to be able to attract them. The good performers are the ones who actually look at and adapt to the audiences. Audience will know if performer is just doing whatever they want or not, so performing in public can be a good practice to improve communication skill.
If you are staying at the same place for long time, you tend not to meet new people, with whom you can communicate and learn new things otherwise. If you get out of your comfort zone, however, you get to meet many different people (sometimes you have to communicate), which makes you realize the others and yourself by reflecting the difference.
I think teaching is one of the best ways to improve your communication skills, as long as you stay tuned with trying to care others (there are many teachers who don’t even look at students therefore no need to adjust their teaching for students).
5. Salsa Dance
Salsa, one of the most famous pair dances, is something I am not so good at, mainly because I am so used to solo dance. Since I became more familiar with Latin American culture, I was exposed more to salsa dance. And indeed, when you are dancing solo, you tend to look down on the floor, whereas if you dance salsa, you have to look at the partner you dance with, and pay attention to the rhythm and movement of the partner in order to keep dancing together, which is one way of communication.
Although those above mentioned 5 things are all very different, there is one thing in common: you can not do it by yourself, and the more you care others, the better it will be. Once you become good at communication, you get to deliver your message in an effective way and/or listen to others very well.
This time, I learned that:
Communication skills are essential ones especially in our society where there is less and less real communication in person, and you can improve that skill by some unusual ways to be able to care others.