Communication Skills 101

Working in a company means there are always situations where communication becomes vital and crucial. Different people from different backgrounds have to work together trying to achieve similar goals. This requires patience and communication. How do we then resolve differences and work towards the same goal? Our version of what we think of “Communication Skills 101” in 3 simple points:

1. Speak your mind
Indeed this is often a dilemma for most. After returning from a company trip, the frequent phrase heard is ‘I did not speak up because I was avoiding conflict’. There is some truth in it. Speaking up can often offend but it also eliminates the ‘guessing game’ which in turn reduces misunderstanding. How so? When a person speaks their mind, the other party/parties involved no longer have to ponder or second guess what that person is thinking. This helps in having sincere and truthful conversations. Might not always be pleasant but it’s not about avoiding conflict. It is about resolving them. And remember, do not rush through your thoughts!

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2. Be open
Having good communication skills mean listening to others’ opinions. While it is often easier to say ‘I’m open to ideas’, adhering to that notion is harder than it seems. Being open means looking at the person from a perspective that is away from what you know about them. Listening to their ideas without emotions involved. As humans, we are all opinionated. Often, we have an idea and we stick to it. We think it is the best. This is normal! However, being in a mixed group means everyone has a different experience. Different outlook, and different backgrounds give you more space and options. From the image below, to most it would be a beautiful building, but to some, it is a work of art and to a few, an engineering marvel. So, before you shoot someone’s ideas down, think of this: it might be another solution to a problem.

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3. Embrace differences
Most people are awkward around conflict. Indeed it is abrasive and can cause damage occasionally. But another way to look at it is how lessons can be learnt. Differences are inevitable because everyone is born differently. It is how we fuse everything into one that helps. Artists often get frustrated when seeking inspirations, yet it helps to be around like-minded individuals. The downside is, even with people of similar interests, conflicts are more often than not just a stone throw away. Differences help communication because everyone communicates differently. Embracing the fact that differences are not bad, introduces a spectrum of possibilities. It isn’t how different people are that is the problem; it is accepting others.

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There you have it. Our 2 cents worth. Try it out, it might work. 🙂