December 25, 2015
Hi and welcome to this video. In this video I want to talk to you about the importance of communication skills. Communication skills make a whole world of difference in how you show up in the world and how satisfied you are with life and in life.
And I don’t say this lightly! Every day, we communicate with other human beings around us. And that includes our family, our spouse and partner, our friends, our peers, our coworkers and colleagues.
Now that’s a whole lot of people that we interact with on a daily basis! And if we don’t know how to communicate and interact with them in ways that are mutually satisfying, then our life becomes restricted just a little bit each time our conversations break down.
Importance Of Communication Skills
Just think about it. If your communication was skilled and effective and your conversations productive, what would it mean for your career?
- Would you be able to get a promotion?
- Or a raise?
- How about more (or fewer!) responsibilities?
- What would skilled conversations be like in meeting and finding your future spouse or partner?
- How about developing more satisfying relationships with your family, friends and peers?
- How would your relationships with all the individuals in your life improve as a result of learning how to master your communication and conversation skills?
In fact, without an emphasis on proper communication, on effective communication, our relationships with those individuals that surround our life become just a little bit less valued, perhaps even a little bit less important.
So if you want the relationships that you have to become stronger, strengthened, become important and filled with trust, then it is worth your effort to improve your communication skills.
What Is Communication?
A lot of us, when we think about communication, we know that there is a verbal component to it as well as a nonverbal component to it. The verbal component is quite “obvious,” isn’t it? And I put that word “obvious” in quotation marks because in many cases it’s not obvious.
Let me explain. According to research done, communication has been categorized into speech acts. One of the ideas of the speech acts is that anything that we say, in any language, falls into one of six different classes of the speech acts.
According to Wikipedia, speech acts are “utterances that have performative function in language and communication.” That’s just a fancy way of saying the speech acts are the way we get things done. To me, the speech acts are kind of like linguistic kung-fu. There are only a few “moves” (or speech acts) that when taken together as a whole, understood and practised, can unleash a giant can of whoop-ass.
Let me list the 6 speech acts for you:
- Promises / Commitments
I explain these speech acts in other videos, as part of my life coaching services, and also in my online course, “3 Steps To Improve Your Communication Skills.” If you are interested, I invite you to take a peek at the course and the videos on my YouTube channel.
Coaching And The Importance Of Communication Skills
As a leadership life coach, one of the most important things that I work with my clients is the emphasis on developing effective communication skills. And I find that the best way to mastering communication and becoming an effective communicator is learning about the speech acts.
Since there are only 6 speech acts, learning them all doesn’t take much time. But understanding what part of the speech acts you are using in your everyday communication takes a bit more practise.
Learning about the speech acts takes care of one portion of daily communication which is the linguistic/intellectual portion. The other two parts of communication are the non verbal communication skills which, I think, tend to be overlooked. In my experience, with myself and with my clients, the non verbal components are the skills that are critical to mastering conversations.
So what do we have? Well, we’ve got the language which is the speaking and “verbal” communication part. That’s easy. And we also have the “non verbal” bit which is “body language.” There’s also one more part that I want to mention. And that’s the “non verbal” skill of emotions. These three components of language, body and emotion constitute the B–E–L model of communication that I use with my coaching clients.
The L part is easy and it stands for “language” and the 6 speech acts. The E stands for “emotion” and the B stands for “body.” The importance of communication skills stands out when you realize the value of working with these three components. And so my work with my clients begins by learning about communication skills via language, the body, and emotion.
But to actually understand all these components we have to use our brain, we have to use our intelligence. The only way that we can share our emotions is through language. The only way that we can describe our physical posture and our physical disposition is through language.
And that’s why language, and understanding communication in an intellectual way, is at the heart of understanding how to become a more effective communicator.
Mastery Through Practise
In my personal life, I have been practising language, body, emotions for the last few years. And I’ll tell you what! I am still practising and I still make mistakes! However, I am improving and the challenge has been invigorating!
This is why I invite you to consider the importance of communication skills as a path toward mastery. It may take many months and years to get proficient at it! By practising language, by practising emotion and by practising the physical dispositions, I’ve learnt to prevent misunderstandings with the people I interact with on a daily basis.
For example, let me talk about the speech act of requests. Through practise, I’ve learnt to become a better requester. I’ve learnt to articulate very clearly what it is that I want from another person, whether it’s a meal at a restaurant, or watching a movie with friends and so on. Additionally, I’ve also learnt, through practise, how I can actually declare satisfaction for my requests.
This was possible because of the distinctions I made within my conversations and actually separate out language and categorize words and sentences into their respective speech acts. This skill alone helped me greatly with my peers, with my colleagues at work, and most importantly, with my family.
Effective Communication Skills
I taught these skills to my clients and to my students and they reported great successes in their conversations and communication with important people in their lives.
My clients were able to prevent misunderstandings and strengthened relationships. Some also reported that they were able to relieve stress and increase the confidence they had in themselves!
I hope you’re able to see how very critical the importance of communication skills are. They cannot be overlooked. It begins with understanding the linguistic component of communication through the speech acts and further refined and honed through the non verbal communication skills of body language and emotion.
I hope this video has been helpful to you and if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to share them below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and I’ll see you in the next video. Take care of yourself and have a beautiful day. Bye-bye for now!