I often hear others say, “I want to improve my communication skills”
When asked what exactly it is that they want to improve, they are often not able to identify which aspects of their communication skills require more work on.
Let me make this process a bit easier for you.
I will split the communication challenges into 6 groups
Language Challenges refer to your struggles with: a. Grammar b. Poor choice of words c. Pronunciation: refers to the way words need to be sounded when speaking d. Articulation – ability to express fluently and coherently. Articulation refers to the usage of speech organs such as tongue, jaws, lips, etc. in order to produce sounds e. Mother Tongue Influence – It is the impact of the usage of our mother tongue on the second language
Fear of Superiors – Some people find it challenging to open up with superiors (bosses, customers, authorities) because of their fears – either of repercussions or of failure to impress
Public speaking skills – Public speaking is an art used for persuasion, teaching or entertaining. The skills required for each one of them are different. Your existing skills can be nurtured and developed even more or they can be cultivated and acquired through specific training.
Natural introversion – Those with a high level of natural introversion tend to be quiet and they find speaking to be energy draining. Introverts often do not speak up in meetings or do not network because their natural being is not to speak, but conserve energy.
Lack of skills to manage emotions – The art of communication also encompasses managing emotions of the people involved. This requires being able to read verbal, non-verbal and/or social cues accurately. You are likely to fail in situations where you do not know how to respond or react to the emotions with the right words and/or actions. Being diplomatic and/or being emphatic and assertive, learning to ‘say no’, conflict management etc. are part of this skill set.
Writing challenges: The art of writing is distinctly different to the art of speaking. Being good at one does not automatically translate to being equally good at the other. This is another skill that can be developed with focussed efforts and training.
It is important that you identify your areas of challenge. To make it easier, I am reproducing the list here again
Choice of words
Mother Tongue Influence
Fear of superiors
Public speaking – persuasion
Public speaking – teaching
Public speaking – entertaining
Lack of skills to manage people emotions – assertive communication, negotiation, managing conflicts, ability to say no…etc
All the above areas can be improved significantly with the mindset change and right training and coaching. There are experts who help in these areas and you should work with those experts.
Author: Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation accredited Leadership and Life Coach. He is ICF PCC. He focuses on working with Introvert Professionals, helping them grow as leaders by unleashing their potential.
He helps introverts celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching experience to help create more leaders among the Introverts.
Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience and done his BE and Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.
His company, Johncey George Consulting Pvt Ltd, does Leadership Development through Coaching, under the brand Coach Johncey (www.coachjohncey.com)