Table of contents:
- Without full involvement in society, a person quickly loses his humanity. The Mowgli children are a good example. The inability to communicate not only destroyed their higher mental functions, but also negatively affected their physical well-being. Almost all of these people died very early
- Wider circle
- Stool syndrome
- Situational blindness
- Three tools for developing communication skills
Video: 8 Basic Communication Skills And 3 Tools To Develop Them - Image, Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:13
Without full involvement in society, a person quickly loses his humanity. The Mowgli children are a good example. The inability to communicate not only destroyed their higher mental functions, but also negatively affected their physical well-being. Almost all of these people died very early
Modern studies of centenarians, among many factors of a happy life in old age, single out an active social life, strong family relationships, a wide circle of communication outside the family, the presence of regular and full-fledged communication.
In books on self-development (for everyone who strives for “successful success”), the most frequent recommendations are also related to building relationships with other people: developing a network of business contacts (networking), finding “your pack” (a circle of supportive communication), creating a “dream team (Groups of like-minded people for the joint implementation of plans, projects), development of leadership skills (which are almost all communicative), etc.
Both the objective and subjective quality of our life depends on how well we are “embedded” (socialized) into social relations. The main means of socialization is communication. And the better a person is able to communicate, the better his communication skills are, the more successful his socialization will be.
A person is included in communication with his own kind from the moment of birth. Therefore, all basic communication skills are formed in our "preconscious" age. The methods of communication we are used to are very quickly automated and become stereotyped. And over the years it may turn out that the skills formed in childhood "lag behind", do not correspond to the new communicative tasks and situations of adult life.
Here's a simple example. One of the basic communication skills is self-presentation - presenting yourself to a communication partner (s). Self-presentation assumes dosed and selective self-disclosure. That is, it is important not to dump on the interlocutors all the shocking details about “your beloved one”, but to provide exactly as much information as is necessary to form a positive impression of you and (most importantly!) To achieve the goal of communication.
Now imagine, say, a boy named Vasya who grew up with stool syndrome. "Stool syndrome" (this is a comic name, not a scientific term) occurs in children whose parents in every possible way cultivate their giftedness (even if it is actually absent) and demonstrate it to others. If guests come to such a family, the parents immediately announce loudly: "And now our Vassenka will read a poem / play the violin / sing!" After that Vassenka is in the center of everyone's attention (stands on a real or hypothetical stool) and demonstrates to everyone her talents.
Gradually, the child develops an attitude: "I must start communication with a demonstration of my talents, I must delight everyone and be in the center of everyone's attention." How useful do you think this communication skill will be, say, during important business negotiations? Surely you are familiar with such characters who, instead of focusing on the case, "pull the blanket over themselves." They are ready to do anything, even disrupt negotiations, just to draw attention to their person. Such people do not possess the skill of self-presentation at a conscious level, reproducing the “stool syndrome” formed in childhood.
8 basic communication skills:
- Orientation in a communication situation (including understanding the goals, roles, motivation of participants).
- Establishing contact, starting communication (and a symmetrical skill - ending communication).
- Receiving information from the interlocutor (active and passive listening, using questions, reading "body language", etc.).
- Providing information (presentation).
- Emotional regulation and self-regulation.
- Psychological impact (persuasion, suggestion) and resistance to impact.
- Providing feedback.
Of course, there are also more complex communication skills - for example, those associated with negotiating or public speaking in front of a large audience. But without sufficient mastery of basic communication skills, mastering skills / abilities of a higher level will be problematic.
The author of these lines recently conducted a seminar for school psychologists, where he asked specialists to evaluate which communication skills are the worst formed in modern adolescents. The range of assessments turned out to be quite large, but psychologists agreed that the skill of orientation in a communication situation is the worst developed. The deficiency of this skill is manifested in the inability to choose the right time and place for communication. The conversation turns out to be inappropriate, ineffective (the participants' goals are not achieved) and unpleasant (provokes negative emotions).
The inability of adolescents to navigate in a communication situation is primarily associated with their little social experience. They really do not have enough knowledge to understand the motives and goals of other participants in the communication, to predict the duration of the conversation, to assess the relevance of the topic under discussion at a given time and place. But this "situational blindness" is not unique to adolescents.
I had a chance to advise a leader who faced stubborn resistance from the team (“I give them orders, set tasks, and they constantly disrupt their implementation!”). He had a habit of running swiftly around the office, shouting orders as he walked. It seemed to him that this was enough and that employees should literally "catch on the fly" his instructions.
In fact, he simply misunderstood the situation. Many employees simply did not have time to switch their attention from their affairs to the head's rapid jogging, and literally did not hear what he was saying to them. Secondly, many employees simply did not understand who exactly the phrase thrown into the air was addressed to. Thirdly, people already had previously set labor tasks, and the priority of the new "introductory" was unclear to them (and there was no opportunity to ask a clarifying question in the back of the running away boss).
Problem statement is not just a phrase tossed on the run, it is a rather complex management and communication skill. And the first rule for this skill: create or choose a suitable situation for setting the problem. A "suitable" situation is one where nothing distracts the participants' attention from the discussion of the problem and they can fully focus their attention on the dialogue. The situation should create an opportunity for high-quality contact between participants in communication. In addition, in order for the task to be accepted for execution (and not simply set), the situation should provide an opportunity to receive feedback from the performer. And how can you focus attention, discuss something, give feedback (and so on) if the leader flies by like a bullet?
Three tools for developing communication skills
This is the ability to look at how you communicate, as if from the outside and analyze it. Develop a habit of asking yourself questions (before, during, and after the conversation): “How appropriate is it to start this conversation now? Is this the right time / place to talk? In what mood / state is my interlocutor, is he ready for this conversation emotionally / morally? Who is my interlocutor? What does he need from this conversation with me? (etc.). Here are reflexive questions for the skill of orientation in a communication situation, but in a similar way they can be formulated for pumping other communication skills.
Folk wisdom rightly says: "You can see a straw in someone else's eye, you can't see a log in your own." In our reflection, there may indeed be "blind spots", we may not notice some weaknesses in our communication. Therefore, a good solution can be help from external observers who can be asked: “What were my remarks / actions / behavior in this communication situation were unsuccessful? What was I doing wrong? " If you trust the observer, then you can also ask him for advice on how to improve your communication skills in such situations.
Try to at least slightly change your usual (stereotyped) communication behavior and see what happens. Don't try to change everything at once, try at least one simple change. For example, in the above example with a "running past" manager, we agreed that he would make at least three stops during which he would communicate with employees.
Teenagers (who, as we remember, find it difficult to navigate communication situations due to their little experience) was greatly helped by the study of one simple technique "question plus announcement". Its essence is that before starting any conversation, you just need to ask the interlocutor: "Is it convenient for you to discuss here and now?" - then briefly outline (announce) the topic and purpose of the conversation.
In conclusion, I would like to note that communication skills cannot be developed only through reading books or useful advice on the Internet. Communication develops in the process of communication with a variety of people in a variety of life situations
If you are sure that your skills are not sufficiently developed, attending the training, which is usually called that ("basic communication skills", "development of communication skills", etc.), will help. But even if it is not possible to attend such a training, approach any conversation consciously, use the three tools described above (reflection, feedback, experiments), and you will certainly be able to communicate better.
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