Kỹ Năng Giao Tiếp

Effective communication


1. Elements in communication


Communication channels carrying messages from the sender to the receiver mainly exist under direct forms, indirect forms, context and some other elements. Direct communication relies on words, written forms, spoken forms, facial expressions, controlled body movements, color, and sound. Indirect communication relies on body language that may reveal one's true emotions.  Context includes present or past events that form the meaning of the message. Other relevant elements are physical milieu (the season or weather, locations and environment), situational milieu (classroom, conflict, supermarket checkout), cultural and linguistic backgrounds, emotional state (maturity), complementary or contrasting roles (boss & employee; teacher & student; friend or enemy; partner or competitor),



2. Principles of effective interpersonal communication


1. Keep a positive attitude: I believe that attitude decides success or failure in communication. Your attitude, perspective and feeling about yourself and other people motivate your priorities, doings, behavior and values with other people and yourself. So, constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.
2. Actually be interested in others: it is better for you to make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people instead of spending two years trying to get them interested in you.

3. Treat others as you want to be treated: don’t use your energy to hurt others. We should use it to spread our gentleness and kindness to everybody. Our attitude, thoughts, feelings, hands, eyes, posture, words and body language are all important in communication. Remember that words only seize 7 percent of communication. The attitude behind your words is crucial.

4. Use silence: a good word is an easy obligation, but not to speak ill requires only our silence. Be silent, or say something better than silence.

5. Listen and do not interrupt others: by not interrupting others and focusing our attention on their words, our conversations become more interesting and useful. Nature gives us one tongue and two ears to listen more than speak. The less you speak, the more you will hear. By listening carefully, we learn many things. Listen to criticism if you need to explore and change yourself. If the criticism is true, correct yourself; if it is a lie, laugh at it.

6. Have the right to pass: we have the right to do or not to do something. Trying to change others seems not very loving and impossible. When others try to change us, we may also feel uncomfortable. Take responsibility for our choices and actions without blaming for any reasons.

7. Do not volunteer others: recognize others have the right to choose and not to use our language in the way we expected.

8. Speak only for ourselves. (Use 'I' statements): it means making accurate statements in communication - instead of assuming we can speak for others, we only speak for ourselves. This diminishes unnecessary resentment and resistance towards us.

9. Don’t babble on and on: the less people speak of their greatness, the more we think of it. The more you say, the less people remember. In addition, the opportunity for learning and creativity come from listening to others' ideas, not from our talkativeness. If you must judge or criticize another person, say nothing about him but merely say something about our own need for being criticized.

10. Communicate with more than your words: words seize a small part of communication. Your tone and body language convey over 90 percent of what you mean. People may forget your words, but they never forget how you made them feel. Speak with your language body. People often turn down an idea because of the unsympathetic voice tone.
11. Challenge the behavior and not the person: a difficult communicative situation is an opportunity for learning and creativity rather than a personal 'battle'. Use a more effective approach to communicate, remove unnecessary personal labels and destructive comments, focus on the issue, and make creative responses to difficult situations.

12. Respect confidentiality: it means generating a feeling of trust, safety and in communication, acknowledging and respecting their vulnerability if it is related to the discussed issue.

13. It is ok to make mistakes: acknowledging that we are not robots and that mistakes are opportunities for learning, connection and insight rather than opportunities to condemn another - as if we are ourselves 'perfect'.



3. Personal relationships and social pragmatics


Long-term relationships are based on mutuality and relative equality, similarities in social perception and communication development. These elements create interpersonal attraction, satisfaction and long-term relationship maintenance. Relationship problems appear because of various causes, but only some which are related to deficiencies in behavior.


Pragmatics assumes that reality is socially constructed via communication, and contexts cause interpersonal difficulties pragmatically. Therefore, if you want to achieve happiness and success at work, you need to get along with your co-workers with whom you may even spend more time than with your relatives. Each individual in an organization is like a small cog in a big wheel. Without the assistance of your co-workers, your assignments will get more difficult. So, the first thing is accepting others’ uniqueness and idiosyncrasies. Human beings may be different in everything such as family background, education, origins, races, genders, and ages, but they may all want the same things: safe living-places and good employments. If you discriminate a co-worker because of their different traits, I do not try to change your mind, but if wanting to succeed at work, you had better consider the above things.


The difficulty in dealing with employees comes from differences in emotional maturity, intelligence, and level of dedication to the job. Emotionally immature people may not cooperate with you because they feel threatened or possibly lose their job security if they reveal you aspects of their job function. Other people fail to accept criticism require the company to provide them the easiest working conditions. In fact, emotional maturity is one of the most difficult things to attain. Moreover, dealing with co-workers of poor working qualification is not easy. Sometimes, people pretend ignorant to avoid work, responsibility or unsuitable job positions. You may find your life meaningful though working; professionalism and career pride may be important to you. However, other people may work for money. To gain happiness and success at work, you probably have to accept those with diverse personalities. You need to form good relationships with those you need to perform your tasks. The best way is to care about them, chat with them and learn about their concerns. Approach them with an optimistic attitude, praise, and compliments. People gravitate towards those that make them feel good. Let them know that you are not a threat. Do not criticize them, or threaten their job security. Help them understand that cooperation is mutually advantageous and supporting each other leads to mutual success at work.



4. Social skill suggestions


Communication is primarily developed through learning. It is dependent on the situation you are in. The various aspects of your personality, past experiences, what you see in the other person and the impression you leave will influence communication. A person’s behavior is also affected by what culture and particular social group he belongs to. Thus, communicative skills are further helped to conjure positive reaction from the receiver. Encouraging reactions such as being pleased, intrigued, calmed, and motivated leads to increased self-worth and self-esteem. It needs appropriate timing, interaction and reciprocity of specific behaviors.


Communicative skill also increases due to factors: age, gender, status, and environment. Verbal communication includes making small talks, sharing jokes, and discussing ideas. Nonverbal communication includes active listening and body language. It is done by exchanging messages with gestures, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, and sign language. Some people behave poorly because of failure to take learning opportunities and control emotional disturbances. Poor social skills often lead to isolation, loneliness, rejection and poor self-esteem. They may cause depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, aggression and even attempts at suicide. The causes of poor social skills vary from person to person, and situation to situation.


The appropriate skills consist of the ability to organize cognition and behavior toward socially accepted communicative goals, and the ability to continually assess and modify behavior to maximize the chances of accomplishing particular goals. Following are suggestions for establishing and maintaining social relationships:


  1. Be aware of others’ personal space and learn not to invade it.
  2. Practise making eye contact during conversations.
  3. Keep turn-taking in conversations, don’t monopolize the discussion.
  4. Commit important dates, information and tasks to written calendars and lists to avoid disappointing others and giving an impression of not caring.
  5. Ask family and friends to point out inappropriate social conduct and discuss ways to effect change.
  6. Use visual cues--such as a piece of everyday jewelry--as a reminder to engage in social skills that require conscious effort.
  7. Think twice before speaking to avoid inappropriate comments.
  8. Manage stress by maintaining emotional control and healthy sleep habits, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, engaging in daily exercises, practising how to interact in various social situations, either by yourself or with someone else, and utilizing encouraging phrase like  "how interesting," when stress prohibits more detailed conversation.


Last of all, in immediate conversations, body language attracts interlocutors’ attentiveness. Empathy is vital. Culture at work affects the success in communication and cooperation.



5. Tips for consultants


  1. Focus on the business needs, not on the communication.
  2. Capable consultants know how to supply added value and exceptional client service.
  3. Underpromise and overdeliver. To please clients, beginner consultants promise much, then break their promises. Build internal support since it is critical to success. The first step is defining key subjects and their roles. This makes your project smooth and effective.
  4. Manage expectations as well as deadlines. Your job is to warn your client before they feel the effect. You can feel the problem by listening and giving your clients and relevant parties the time and space of the incident.
  5. Good consultants must be active listeners. Establishing a stronger rapport and listening help you offer better counsel and make stronger decisions.
  6. Internal communication encompasses everything. Get to know your potential and immediate audiences. Use formal and informal techniques to understand your audiences in interviews, discussions and phone calls.
  7. Actions speak louder than words. Think carefully about the implicit messages you send and help your clients to do the same.
  8. Identify the needs and concerns of target audiences, and the right media to use before communicating. Communication is a process. Most organizations see it part of their business plans. However, many still consider it as a one-time event rather than ongoing dialogues.
For beginner consultants, the best advice is to keep reading, learning and enriching their experience.