Basics of Communication Skills

Basics of Communication Skills

In this course we will cover basics of communication skills to help you understand the nuances of the most sought after corporate skills. It is imperative for for every individual to undergo communication skills training to succeed in personal or professional life. Effective is communication also the foundation of strong and everlasting relationships in life.

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” – Paul J. Meyer

Communication skills are among the most essential of all life skills.

Communication is the process of passing information from one location to another. This could be done verbally (using the voice) or written (using digital or printed media like magazines, books, websites, or e-mails) or visually (using logos charts, maps, or charts) as well as non-verbally (using body gestures, language, and the tone and pitch of the voice).

The quality of the information transferred and received is a sign of how your communication abilities are considered excellent.

You are born with interpersonal skills

Often see babies crying when they are hungry or when they wet their diapers, they are communicating.

We have all been developing our interpersonal abilities since childhood, often subconsciously. Personality traits become so familiar that we overlook them without considering how we interact with others.

However, the basis for the other skills is based upon strong interpersonal skills as they relate to our relationships at home and social activities as well as professional life.

What is communication?

Communication is the process of the transfer of information from one location to another. Although this is a basic description, however, when we consider how we can communicate, the topic is a bit more complex. There are many kinds of communication, and multiple types of communication can occur.

The different types of communication include:

  • Verbal or spoken communication – Telephone, face-to-face, television or radio, and various other forms of media.
  • Non-Verbal Communication – Body expression, language, and how we dress and act.
  • Written Communication Letters, e-mails, magazines, books, the Internet, or through other media.
  • Visualizations such as graphs and logos, maps, charts, and many other visualizations can convey messages.

The goal or desired result in any communication process is to gain understanding.

The process of interpersonal communication should not be seen as something that occurs. Instead, it needs to be viewed as a process in which participants play their part either consciously or in unconscious ways.

The sender and the recipient, or receivers, are equally important in communicating. When communicating face-to-face, both the roles of the receiver and the sender are not different, as both can communicate simultaneously, which includes more subtle methods like eye contact (or absence of it)) and body language.

There are other ways we can communicate (perhaps even without intention) with other people. For instance, the tone of our voice could provide indications of our mood and emotional state, while gestures or hand signals can be a part of a spoken message. When writing, the two parties have more distinction.

Only a handful of publishers and writers were highly influential in writing in the past. Today, we all can write and publish our thoughts via the Internet, creating an explosion of communication and information options.

The Communication Process

The sender sends a communication or message to one or several recipients using a communication channel.

Basics of Communication Skills

The sender has to encode information (the information being communicated) into a format suitable to the communication channel. The recipient analyzes the message to determine its significance and meaning.

The possibility of miscommunication can be present at any time during communicating. Effective communication means reducing the risk of miscommunication and eliminating any barriers in the communication process at every step during communication.

Effective communicators know their target audience, select the appropriate channel for communication, target their message to this channel, and then encode the message to prevent misunderstanding from those who are the receiver(s).

They will also try to get comments from the recipient(s) regarding what the message is being understood and will attempt to resolve any misinterpretation or confusion promptly.

Communication Channels

Communication theory claims that communication is a process of sending information to one or more receivers (or receivers) transmitting information via the communication channel. The term “communication channels” refers to the manner in the way we communicate.

  • There are many options for communication in the present time, such as face-to-face interactions, phone calls, text messages, and email.
  • Then there is the Internet (including social networks like Facebook and Twitter), radio, and television.
  • Letters, written brochures, reports, and even brochures constitute the communication channels. Selecting the winning channel for communication is crucial to ensure that communication is effective.

Every communication channel has its strength and weakness. For instance, broadcasting information about an event coming up in written letters could communicate an information message transparently to a couple of people but is not an efficient or time-saving method of getting the message across to a vast number of people.

However, transmitting technical or complex information is best done with the printed version of a document rather than a verbal message.

The receiver can take in the information at their speed and revisit information they are unsure about.

Encoding messages

Every message must be encoded into a format that can be transmitted by the channel of communication used to transmit the message.

Each day, we do this when we translate abstract ideas into spoken words or a written format.

However, different communication channels require different coding methods, e.g., the report’s text will not work well when broadcast through a radio program, and the brief abbreviated text used in text messages is inappropriate for an email.

Complex data might be better communicated using charts, graphs, or any other type of visualization.

Effective communicators encode their messages with the target audience’s mind and the channels of communication.

This means making use of the correct use of language, straightforwardly communicating the message in anticipation of and eliminating potential sources of confusion and misunderstanding, and being aware of the receivers’ experience in decoding similar messages.

Effectively encoding messages is an essential skill for efficient communication.

Decoding messages

After receiving the message, recipients must decode the message. People can decode and comprehend messages in a variety of ways based on various factors, including their experiences and knowledge regarding the content of the messages, their mental state, and the time and place of reception. Knowing how messages will be read and anticipating the majority of possible sources of confusion as is possible is the hallmark of a good communicator.


The recipients of messages are likely to give feedback on whether they comprehended the message, both non-verbal and verbal reactions.

Effective communicators focus on this feedback because it is the only way to determine if the message was received strictly as intended. Additionally, it lets any misunderstanding be rectified.

Keep in mind that the amount and nature of feedback will differ depending on the channel used. For instance, face-to-face or telephone conversation feedback will generally be immediate and direct.

In contrast, feedback for messages transmitted via radio or television is indirect and can be delayed or transmitted through other mediums like the Internet.

Communication principles

Certain fundamental principles guide the efficacy of all our communications.

They can be simple to grasp. However, they could take years to master.

Principle 1. Interpersonal communication is not an option. It is a compulsion.

There are times when we attempt to avoid communicating. However, this is not an alternative. In reality, the more we attempt not to communicate, the more we communicate. In not speaking, we are conveying something. Perhaps we are shy, or that we are angry, insecure, or that we are too busy. Dismissing someone is a method of communicating with them.

We might not be able to say we are not paying attention to them, but by using non-verbal communication, we try to convey that message. We communicate much significantly more truthfully through non-verbal communications than using words.

Body posture, expressions, and the level of eye contact, even tiny and subtlest of behaviors, are all ways to communicate with other people.

We are also constantly informed, as we receive signals from other people and interpret these signals in different ways.

How well we can comprehend is determined by how adept we are at the art of interpreting interpersonal communication.

Principle 2. When it is out, it is over.

The process of communicating with others is indestructible. It is possible to regret having said something or apologize for something you did and then regret it later, but you cannot undo it. We tend to act and talk to people according to previous encounters.

These interactions may or may not be the most appropriate reference points. We often stereotype people subconsciously, perhaps based on gender, social status or race, religion, or age, among other things.

These stereotypes are generalizations frequently exaggerated. Due to these stereotypes, when we speak to people, we can have preconceived notions of their thoughts or how they are likely to behave and assumptions about what will happen during the conversation. These preconceptions influence how we talk to people, the words we use, and our tone.

We are naturally inclined to communicate in the way we think is best for the person we communicate with. Our preconceived notions about other people can be wrong. This could mean that our communication is not appropriate and thus more likely to be misinterpreted. Because the aim of any communication should be to make it clear, we have not been able to communicate effectively.

In this manner of communicating in a way that is affected by preconceived ideas and stereotypes, we feed further prejudices to those we are talking to, thereby causing more issues.

Make sure to start any interaction with an open mind. Pay attention to the words spoken instead of listening to what you expect to hear. You are less likely to misinterpret or make statements that you regret later.

Principle 3. Unending Complexity

Communication is not easy to understand. There are endless reasons why communication takes place, and there are various options for how it is conducted and how messages are received and broadcast.

Communication variables like language, environment, distraction, and the people involved can impact how messages are communicated or received and how they are perceived. When we speak, we use words to communicate, which could have subtly different meanings to people in various situations.

It is possible to argue that words are tokens that we trade with one another and have no intrinsic meaning. However, this may be somewhat philosophical.

In actual practice, it is the case that we could convey the same message to different people. Each individual may be able to have a different interpretation or perception of the meaning. Any miscommunication, however minor it may appear, could affect the message any time we communicate.

In unit-2 we will cover – The elements of interpersonal communication