Communication Skills

Published: Monday, 01 October 2018

1. Advising

2. Using proper language

3. Instructing

4. Presenting

5. Training

6. Active listening

7. Writing & Editing

8. Demonstrating Professionalism

 

 

1. Advising

What is it?

If someone needs some tips for something you give them an advice. You try to help him/her with his/her problem. You can support someone with an advice. An advice can be given by everyone like a friend, family or even a doctor.

 

Aims?

  • Being able to explain things to others.
  • Being able to help other employees to work effectively.
  • Being able to advise customers. 

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Teaching other students.
  2. Doing voluntary work. 

Tools:

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

(People with good advising abilities)

  • Be able to put themselves in somebody’s shoes.
  • Have a service-oriented attitude. 
  • Make themselves redundant after a while.
  • Explain in small steps.
  • Take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the advised person.
  • Be patient.
  • Try different ways to explain something. 
  • Initiative and proactive approach, which leads to an open and friendly atmosphere in the workplace. 

People without this skill tend to …

(People with poor advising abilities)

  • Only see negative points / aspects about a situation / person.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • Ignore personal abilities. 

 

Activities

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2. Using proper language

What is it?

It is the skill that gives us the ability to communicate effectively and it makes us look respectable. 

 

Aims?

  • Using the right kind of language is important because of credibility, purpose and good manners. 

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Avoid slang, jargon and profanity.
  2. Structure your speech in your mind.
  3. Be familiar with the vocabulary in the field of studying. 

Tools:

  • Communication models / theories cp. Shulz von Thun, Paul Watzlawick

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Ask friends / parents to correct own language.
  • Try to avoid slang words / swear words.
  • Talk to / listen to well-educated people.
  • Watch brilliant speakers. 
  • Study literature about famous quotes/sayings/useful phrases.
  • Find out about special language used in certain working environment.
  • “Never attack in anger”.
  • Know the rules of communication in different situations.
  • Be polite with people of the company.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Use colloquial language in a covering letter/CV.
  • Not stick to facts.
  • Exaggerate.
  • Give only negative feedback. 
  • Talk to bosses and employers as with friends.
  • Use offensive language.
  • Be offending. 
  • Show under-educated behaviour. 

 

Activities

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3. Instructing

What is it?

When you want someone to do something you give them instructions to achieve/produce something. With instructions you can say what someone has to do and how he or she can do it to reach their goal.

 

Aims?

  • Avoid misunderstanding.
  • Work effectively and efficiently. 
  • Others know exactly what is expected. 
  • Help someone reaching a goal.
  • Manage working process. 

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Working as a sports coach.
  2. Babysitter.
  3. Peer group learning. 

Tools:

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Ask friends / parents to correct own language.
  • Try to avoid slang words / swear words.
  • Talk to / listen to well-educated people.
  • Watch brilliant speakers. 
  • Study literature about famous quotes/sayings/useful phrases.
  • Find out about special language used in certain working environment.
  • “Never attack in anger”.
  • Know the rules of communication in different situations.
  • Be polite with people of the company.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Use colloquial language in a covering letter/CV.
  • Not stick to facts.
  • Exaggerate.
  • Give only negative feedback. 
  • Talk to bosses and employers as with friends.
  • Use offensive language.
  • Be offending. 
  • Show under-educated behaviour. 

 

Activities

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4. Presenting

What is it?

Showing results of an assignment or a research to a group of people. Often supported by posters, handouts or “PowerPoint” presentations.

 

Aims?

Learning this skill has many important reasons, like being able to convince people of your opinion or showing your colleagues and your boss you are confident, have many great skills and are smart even though you are still young. In your everyday life you do not always have the chance to prove yourself the way you can during a very good presentation. Afterward you might get rewarded with more trust and more important assignments.

 

How to get or improve it?

Presenting is learned best through practicing and structuring the process of preparing a presentation. If you find out you have to present an assignment you are working on do not panic, the following steps are going to help you master your Presentation:

  1. Start early: You will be less stressed when you get closer to your deadline, you can work on your assignment longer and you can start practising in time.
  2. Become an expert in the topic: You have to present, this way you will be able to be confident in what you are presenting and can talk freely. 
  3. Do not be scared to ask for help: If you have questions concerning your assignment or your presentation. This will make you feel more relaxed when you are presenting, knowing that you are not unsure of something you are going to say. 
  4. Write presentation cards: Even when presentation cards are not allowed use them to practise. If you have a small black out during the practice or even the presentation they will help you get back to your topic. But only write keyword on them otherwise they might confuse you even more or will tempt you to read out lout what is on them. 
  5. Practice: Start by reading through your cards silently, than loudly until you know what is written on them without looking at them all of the time. Now you can try forming sentences with the keywords, afterwards the speaking part of your presentation is finished. But do not stop practicing until you can present without the presentation cards. If you have achieved that skill present in front of a mirror, your friends or your family. That way you can make sure your body language is good and you are speaking loud enough. If you do not have anyone you can present it to place your phone in the other corner of the room. This way you can make sure you are speaking loud enough. 
  6. Prepare: On the day of your presentation you should make sure you have everything you need and arrive early so you can set everything up the way you need it. 

Tools:

  • Basic knowledge about presentation technology.
  • PowerPoint.
  • Basic knowledge about how to present successfully.
  • How to design slides, visual aids.
  • How to structure content. 
  • How to create suspense / interest.
  • Body language. 
  • How to use your voice etc. 

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Have great presentation skills e.g. Steve Jobs.
  • YouTube videos about presenting skills.
  • Be fluent in spoken language.
  • Use suitable/appropriate body language.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Use only PowerPoint and read out what is on the slides.
  • Be unstructured. 
  • Give too much information. 

 

Activities

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5. Training

What is it?

The action of teaching a person a particular skill or type of behaviour.

 

Aims?

Earning knowledge and experience yourself, by teaching others. Changing someone’s attitude and ensuring their personal growth.

  • Teach employees skills that are relevant to their current job position.
  • Make workforce more flexible.0
  • Make jobs to be carried out more efficiently and more target driven.
  • Motivate employees to learn another tasks or to improve their work.
  • Trained employees are more value.
  • Training in health and safety can reduce accidents around the workplace.

 

How to get or improve it?

Teamwork with classmates. Teaching other students things that are important for the school or aspired profession.

  1. Start with small tasks, e.g. explain things to your classmates.
  2. Practising communication skills and practising clear communication.
  3. To be able to analyse daily and common activities and to express them in a step by step explanation.
  4. Doing activities to learn how to attract attention.
  5. With examples of common tasks and its goal to prioritise  and schedule the learning process
  6. Learning feedback techniques.
  7. To work together with use cases of situations with the trainees and how we could cope with this situations.

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Be able to communicate clearly
  • Have empathy: They are able to put themselves in the learner’s shoes, recognise the fears and uncertainties in the minds of trainees 
  • Be patient: This is shown in the willingness to compliment slow progress and refrain from the anger when mistakes are made. It includes the techniques of repeating instructions, breaking down a task into small units and allowing time for learners to try out. 
  • Be frank about the strengths and weaknesses to the person being trained
  • Create a supportive and non-threatening atmosphere.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Not be able to transfer this knowledge in a clear way. A trainer that has been doing an activity for a long time and he doesn’t think about the learning process because he thinks that because its experience, he will be able to explain it clearly. Later, when he starts the training process, he realises that he’s A trainer that is not enough well-prepared to master his task and trains about issues he doesn’t know.Weet niet het antwoord op enkele vragen van de stagiairs. He antwoords het zonder het te weten het echte antwoord.
  • Not know the answer to some questions of the trainees. He answers it without knowing the real answer.
  • Ridicule the students that ask questions. He doesn’t know one or some answers and hides by mocking a student.
  • Feel superior to the trainees and show it, only because he has some knowledge and treats his/her trainees as stupid.
  • Not be able to give good assessments of the acquired training knowledge or even more, he/she doesn’t do it and he/she goes on the training process without checking that trainees master the basics.
  • Not be able to transfer clearly the processes explaining them step by step.

 

Activities

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6. Active listening

What is it?

‘Active Listening’ means that you devote your full attention to the person you are talking to and listen to him/her in a concentrated manner, for example by agreeing, asking questions or nodding.

 

Aims?

  • Acquire new knowledge.
  • Facilitates communication and information exchange (e.g. during job interviews or conflicts).
  • Interlocutors are better able to interact with each other.
  • Time to think, to form your own opinion and maybe to collect arguments.
  • Improves and deepens the personal relationship by showing respect and understanding.

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Improvisational theatre (e.g. with classmates or friends).
  2. Film conversations to see where you have been attentive and where you can improve something (video analysis).
  3. Summarize the conversation with friends/family at the end and ask if you have understood it correctly.
  4. Listening comprehension exercises (watch a film, listening exercises e.g. in English, etc.) in school followed by questions.

Tools:

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Be good sales people.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Use encouraging facial expression to show interest.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Interrupt others and are not interested in what others have to say.
  • Keep going on with what they have planned to say without considering suggestions or objections of others. They like talking for longer periods of time without realizing that others are not listening anymore or want to say something. 
  • Stare at their mobile phone.

 

Activities

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7. Writing & Editing

What is it?

Writing: Handwriting, typing, printing, photography or any other form of code or notation recorded in any medium. 

Editing: Selecting and revising written, audio or video material for final production.(or: Arranging, revising and preparing a written, audio or videomaterial for final production, usually by a party (called editor) other than the creator of the material.)

 

Aims?

  • Being able to have proper business communication.
  • Being able to create content that is convincing and that can be published. 

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Producing texts, e.g., 
    • Writing articles for school magazines / school homepage.
    • Writing business letters / class tests / exams in language classes.
  2. Creating videos that explain things or that report about events 

Tools:

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Be great communicators.

People without this skill tend to …

  • Copy from others without giving the source or naming the author.
  • Make spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Have  no variation in phrases / connectives / sentence structure.
  • Lack  language for special purposes (e.g. technical terms, jargon).

 

Activities

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8. Demonstrating Professionalism

What is it?

To demonstrate professionalism means to use proper language, dress appropriately and always show respect and consideration. 

Show/Prove that you have dealt with a topic, have gained detailed knowledge about it and are able to tell others about it in a convincing way. Deal with a given task in an objective way.

 

Aims?

Making a good impression on co-workers, employers and customers. Making people believe that you are a true professional at your job and know what you are doing.

We often hear how important it to behave “professionally” in the workplace. If you want to get ahead, be taken seriously, and have your boss think of you as an asset to the team, doing things in a professional way is vital.

 

How to get or improve it?

  1. Practice job interviews.
  2. Meetings and business phone calls at school.
  3. Practice dialogues with fellow students and learn about what type of language to avoid and what type of language to use in a professional environment. 

Tools:

 

Benefits and consequences

People with this skill tend to …

  • Show kind behaviour.
  • Respect individual wishes.
  • Be competent, reliable, honest, show integrity, respect others, keep up to date, have a positive attitude, support others, stay focused on their work and don’t deal with private matters at work.
  • To be keen.
  • Be very hard workers.
  • Be helpful and loyal.
  • Try to do their best.
  • Try to solve any problem.
  • Cooperate well.
  • Be polite to the people of the company. 

People without this skill tend to …

  • Go to work in sweatpants.
  • Talk down to customers.
  • Show other ways considered as unprofessional:
    • Show other ways considered as unprofessional:
    • Keep them waiting unnecessarily.
    • Steal their ideas without giving them credit.
    • Say one thing then do the complete opposite. Break promises regularly. 
    • Lack of punctuality of trainees.
    • Trainees should be more responsible in dealing with money and be loyal and reliable. 
    • Distaste for learning, lack of interest, poor attendance. 
    • Lack of interest in work.
    • Not working in team and communicating right.
    • Not taking initiative.
    • Not being keen on humility and then mess up because they didn’t want to take advice. 
    • Not being aware of your responsibility. 
    • Play with their mobile phones all the time.
    • Not be able to work independently.
    • Not meet deadlines.
    • Lack discipline. 
    • Lack of training in foreign languages e.g. if you have a position in a restaurant.
    • Impatience. 
    • Employees having less motivation and being clumsy. 

 

Activities

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