Good Communication Skills

January 7, 2016

Hi and welcome to this video. In this video I want to talk about good communication skills. And I stress the word “good” there because “good” according to the speech acts is an assessment. And an assessment is neither good nor bad. It just indicates a preference for—you know—what we like and what we want to hear. So what is involved with communication?

Well you and I, we probably are aware that communication involves both verbal components as well as the non verbal components. And within Ontological Coaching these are broken down into the three-step BEL model of:

  • Body
  • Emotions and
  • Language

And the language consists of the six speech acts. And the six speech acts are:

  • Requests
  • Offers
  • Promises
  • Assertions
  • Assessments and
  • Declarations

I cover the six speech acts in other videos so you’re welcome to check them out.

Non Verbal Communication Skills

The non verbal components of communication involves both the body and the emotions. Now it’s interesting because the emotions are not something we talk about a lot. We talk mostly about—you know—the physical body disposition of how we want to show up in conversation thinking body language is the be all and end all of non verbal communication skills.

Now what is interesting to me is that—you know—there has been research done and which I’ve read that suggest that upward of maybe 70 to 80 to even 90% of all communication is non verbal. So according to that BEL model of body, emotions, and language, the body and the emotions account for 34 to 90% of all communication. And that’s tremendously significant!

And this is one of the things that I work with- with my clients is we practise. We practise noticing the way we show up in conversations with our body, with the physical dispositions that we bring. And we also notice what kind of emotions and moods that we bring to our conversations.

So let me recap that for you. We have the verbal components of communication which include the six speech acts. Which are requests, offers and promises; assertions, assessments, and declarations. We also have the non verbal components of communication of body and emotion. Together they count for 100% of communication. But the significant portion of communication is non verbal.

Verbal Communication Skills

But let’s take a moment to focus on the verbal component. Because that’s, I think, where a lot of the focus is and what were used to and what we’ve—you know—studied and practised for a long, long time.

So what does it mean to have good communication skills? Well from that coaching that I bring and the work that I do with my clients, I personally believe that good communication skills means that you have effective conversations. That you and I engage in conversations that are effective that result in outcomes that are satisfactory, that have meaning, and that have value to us.

And do you remember way back in the beginning of the video when I told you that “good” was an assessment? Well “value” and “meaning” those are also assessments and “satisfaction” definitely is an assessment. So it’s just a preference for what it is that we want to get out of the conversation.

So what we need to do to become better at communication? What do we need to do to have more effective conversations? To get that kind of satisfaction, get those outcomes that we desire within our conversations? And is what I do with my clients.

Notice What Speech Acts You Use

I invite them to notice which of the speech acts that they use in all of their conversations. Not only that, I invite them to notice what kind of emotions they bring when they enter into any conversation. And finally, I invite them to notice what kind of body shape they enter conversations.

All three of these are related and that BEL model, it’s kind of like an equilateral triangle. You know you got the “body” on one end. You’ve got the “emotions” and you got the “language” on the other. What this means is one thing does not override another. The body is related to both the emotions and the language. The emotions are related both to the body and language. And the language is related both to the emotions and the body.

That is to say when you affect one or the other of these components you going to affect the other two. What I mean by this is that: for example the language that we speak, creates a range of possibilities for the kind of emotions that we can experience. And the emotions that we’re going to experience indicate a certain type body shape.

You know, for example, if you’re hunched down and are talking like this with your eyes down on the floor when you’re asking your boss for a raise, it’s kind of difficult to get a satisfactory outcome out of that conversation. And it also kind of reduces your vocabulary to something like, “Umm… Excuse me?… Umm… I’d like- I’d like- I’d like a raise.”

You know it reminds me of that- that movie Office Space when the guy going on about his stapler. His stapler, his stapler this. And he gets shoved all the way down to the office and nobody knows that he was fired or that he even works there.

Good Communication Skills = Noticing

Anyway that’s what it means to take control of your conversations. That’s what it means to have good communication skills. So that you know what kind of language that you have available to you. And knowing the language that is available means that you also bring about the appropriate emotions and the appropriate body disposition to your conversations. So how do we do that again? Well we simply notice.

  • What are you saying?
  • How are you saying that?
  • What kind of emotion is do you bring?
  • Do you notice the emotions that you’re in?
  • Do you notice the emotions of the people around you?
  • How to those affect you?
  • Do you notice how you stand up?
  • Do you notice how you sit down?
  • Do you notice how you move about during the day?

These are some of the things that we need to work on to really get to becoming skilled at communication. Because when we are skilled at communication, we become skilled at conversations. When we are skilled at conversations, we can definitely take charge of those conversations and derive meaning, value and satisfaction from those outcomes.

Learn To Engage In Conversation

Now good communication skills aren’t about one-sided conversations. You and I, we engage in conversations with other people. There could be one other person there could be more than one other person. Whatever the case, that conversation is- is like an entity, it’s kind of organic.

You come into the conversation with your emotions. You come into the conversation with your body disposition and the language they are speaking. Other individuals were part of the conversation come with their own body dispositions and their own emotions and their own vocabulary. And out of all of this, within that conversation, we are all going to engage in the speech acts. We’re going engage with the emotions, we’re going to engage with the bodies to create value, meaning and satisfaction that benefits each of those individuals that participate in the conversation.

And since “satisfaction” is an assessment, each of those individuals that participate in the conversation will make their demands known, make their conditions of satisfaction known, for that conversation.

So to summarize, good communication skills means taking control of conversations. And that means you know exactly which of the speech acts you are engaged in, which of the speech acts serve that- you and serve that conversation.

Not only that, you also understand the non verbal components of communication which are both the emotions and the body dispositions. And you bring those into the conversations so that the result is something effective. The result is something valuable. The result is something meaningful to you and to the other participants in the conversation.

I hope this is help you to understand what good communication skills are—from the perspective of Ontological Coaching—to bring about so that you can derive satisfaction, you can declare satisfaction within your conversations.

If you have any questions or comments about this video please share them below and I’ll get to you as soon as I can.

Thank you very much for your time. Take care, have a beautiful day and I’ll see you in the next video!

Bye-bye for now!