Effective Communication Skills: The Key to a Happier and Healthier Lifestyle

Effective communication skills can benefit any person at any stage in their life. These types of soft skills are highly sought after in the workplace, and are integral in maintaining a happy and long-lasting home-life. Improving your ability to communicate can have a tremendously positive impact in many areas of your life. You can expect an increase in happiness, confidence, and successful social interaction.

It is important during the communication improvement process to break down communication barriers. It is often the case that people construct barriers and fears based on past communication shortcomings, and these hurdles are often difficult to overcome. A person may rush when speaking due to confidence issues, or rarely make eye contact when listening. They may steer clear of conversation with strangers or avoid conflict with a family member or colleague. An improvement in your communication skills can help you better express your opinion or feelings. These improvements can help you everywhere, from the boardroom to the bedroom.

When asked what effective communication skills mean to them, the average person often forgets about the role of listening. Being a strong and proactive listener is integral in communicating effectively. Effective communication skills are as much about listening as they are about speaking. Active listening is an important component of understanding the person or people you are communicating with, and allows you to better reach out to them. By effectively communicating feelings of grief, happiness, or remorse, the individual improves their ability to empathize and sympathize with those around them.

By increasing his or her ability to communicate, the individual greatly enhances their opportunities for personal growth. Strong communication skills can really improve ones leadership abilities, including motivating subordinates at work or family members at home. From a self-maintenance perspective, effective communication skills are an important component of personal stress management. By increasing his or her communication effectiveness an individual can become more assertive, including an enhanced ability to take charge of a conversation or situation, and bring about a desired conclusion. Improved communication skills can also really improve a persons ability to implement conflict management, both at home and in the workplace.

Improved conversation skills will increase the individuals ability to meet a mate or make new friends; communicating effectively helps an individual carry themselves more confidently, and project a charismatic and gregarious personality. These advances in personal growth will also improve the persons networking skills. It is increasingly true that effective networking is a primary driver of success in today’s global, competitive, and high-paced job market. The ability to ‘schmooze’ with senior management, or ingratiate oneself with company executives can lead to increased responsibility, greater pay, and improved opportunities for advancement.

Physical communication, including fidgeting, hand gestures, and eye movement, is an important aspect of communication. It also considered by many to be the hardest component to monitor and improve. People often focus so intently on what they are saying or on what they are hearing, that they don’t notice their physical movements.

The art of public speaking is a difficult one to master for the average person. It is a careful balance of instilling an important message with ones audience while maintaining their interest. An effective communicator can find a way to bring their oration to life and use the power of not only his or her voice but also the power of physicality to entertain and educate the audience.

An important element of effective communication is understanding the person or group with which you are interacting. A strong communicator must recognize when certain jokes or mannerisms are appropriate, and when they are not. Humor can be a powerful ally but it can quickly turn on you when used without care and discretion.

Another important component of effective communication skills is strong use of the written word. Despite education and degrees, many people still find that their writing skills leave much to be desired. Writing skills improvement, as with many things in life, must be approached in small steps with the help of training cues. Good practice to try writing briefly about your likes and dislikes, or possibly a short apology to someone. Successful writing is being able to convey a point with the use of expressive and polished language, while not ‘offending’ the readers sensibilities with verbose vocabulary that does little to instill understanding.