Whether we are employees or the bosses of our company, a significant factor to consider is communication. Without it, success is not assured. If you have worked in a workplace where communication was not excellent, you certainly know what we are talking about. Sometimes, working in such an environment can be really exhausting and can push us to look for better offers.
But what do we need to improve communication in our business as well as in our private lives? Certainly, to expand our communication skills. Nowadays, good communication is the perfect ingredient to achieve our goals. If you want to know what are the best communication skills and how to improve them, then read on because you are in the right place.
- Thanks to our communication skills, we can improve the quality of our own communication. Skills such as empathy, non-verbal language or emotional control, help us to take communication to the next level.
- Remember that we can always develop our communication skills. In fact, by changing some bad habits, we can avoid prejudices or we can learn to listen carefully to what our interlocutor is telling us.
- A very important communication skill is writing. Whether it is to write a cover letter or to answer a professional email, it is necessary to enrich your writing skills. With tools like LanguageTool you can correct spelling mistakes.
Top Communication Skills: The Ultimate List
Although communication may seem easy, sometimes misunderstandings can arise that can cause frustration between two interlocutors. However, good communication can improve employee productivity, help us avoid conflicts and help us make better decisions. Here is a list of the top 5 communication skills we have chosen for you.
5. Controlling emotions
Emotions play a very important role in communication. Of course, a good emotional control helps us to improve our productivity in many areas, such as work, personal or sports. Undoubtedly, this control provides us with skills to understand ourselves and others.
have you ever attended a job interview and failed because you were too nervous? This can happen when emotions are not controlled. Unfortunately, an internal state of agitation is reflected in the way we express what we want to communicate.
How to improve emotional control?
So far, we have learned that being able to master our emotions is an excellent skill to develop our communication. We know very well that being able to control something that is natural is not an easy thing to do. However, with some habits that we can add to our routine, this could become easier. Here are some tips that will help you keep your emotions under control:
- Understand our emotions and write them down: Knowing how we really feel at any given moment is very important. In fact, we often get angry because we accumulate different feelings inside and this can stress us out. Writing is therapeutic, especially in moments like these. Little by little, we will see that we will be able to control certain situations better.
- Listen carefully: Listening carefully to what our interlocutors say, will help us to understand what they are talking about. In addition, we will avoid emotions that we cannot control.
- Be more rational: Undoubtedly, avoiding impulsive reactions will help us avoid many problems. Often, if we do not control our emotions, we end up hurting the people we love, saying things we do not really think.
- Practice Mindfulness: Meditation is a practice that, today, is also widespread in the West. It helps us to focus on the present, thus reducing stress and anxiety. Before a job interview or an important meeting with our boss, concentrating for 5 minutes on our breathing will help us to clear our mind and control our nerves.
4. Non-verbal communication
Did you know that some studies have indicated that a very high percentage of interpersonal communication is non-verbal? This type of communication is based on body language, such as gestures, facial expressions or certain postures. For example, when we are relaxed, our body is not tense and an almost imperceptible smile appears on our face.
This sensation can help us convey what we are trying to say without words, and this can maximize the message we want to send to others.
With our hands, we can reinforce our verbal message. During a job interview, the interviewee not only moves his hand, but also his body, head and legs. Thanks to our posture, it is possible to know what emotion the situation provokes in us. If we have an upright posture and lax arms, the situation does not bother us. On the other hand, arms crossed over the chest indicate an attempt to protect ourselves from a possible attack (1).
How to improve nonverbal communication?
Now that we know that nonverbal communication is an excellent communication skill, is there anything we can do to improve it? Here are some examples that can help us improve our ability to communicate effectively through nonverbal language:
- Focus on the tone we use when we speak: Sometimes, we use inappropriate tones thinking that they are part of ourselves. However, we cannot always use the same tone. We must begin to check how our tone of voice affects the responses of our interlocutors. Let us always try to use our voice to emphasize what we want to communicate. It may seem difficult, but, little by little, we will be able to use a consistent tone.
- Pay close attention to gestures: A very useful tip is to analyze other people’s gestures when they are communicating something. Posture or body movements can tell us much more than a sentence. Getting used to noticing other people’s unconscious gestures can help us improve our nonverbal communication skills.
- Be aware of the context: Some situations require more formal behavior than others. Beware of nonverbal behaviors that are not appropriate for the context in which we find ourselves. If we are trying to improve our nonverbal communication, let’s make our signals consistent with the level of formality that the current situation requires.
3. Reading and writing well
Many times, the context requires a type of written communication. How often do we have to communicate with our team or our superior by email? Therefore, knowing how to write well is an essential skill for good communication. No doubt, after an interview, human resources managers will give priority to a well-written cover letter.
However, knowing how to read is no less important. Certainly, for a person who is used to reading daily, his intellectual development is greater. Thanks to this wonderful aptitude, it will be easier, for example, to understand technological or scientific advances. Moreover, in a workplace, most communications are written and often in English.
Therefore, it is essential to be able to read in English as well.
How to improve your reading and writing skills?
It is clear that our ability to read and write can be improved. If we want to relate to other people correctly, especially in a work environment, it is only fair that we try. Here is a comparison chart with tips to help us develop our reading and writing skills:
|Choosing the best place to read. Always consider some factors such as location, environment and distractions.||Read a lot. By reading, we learn new vocabulary, which we can add to our texts.|
|Mark keywords and concepts. Pay attention to important terms, definitions, facts and phrases.||Read about different topics and practice the free-writing technique.|
|Ask questions while reading. In this way, our reading comprehension will improve because we will be able to make connections with the text.||Try to write at specific times, in a quiet space and without pressure.|
|Read self-help books in English. They are the easiest to understand, if our level of English is not very advanced.||Use tools, such as LanguageTool, to correct spelling mistakes.|
how many times have we heard of empathy as a priority in the workplace? This innate ability is critical and allows us to put ourselves in our interlocutor’s shoes. We can say that it is one of the most important and necessary social skills to coexist with others. Of course, we really feel understood when the person listening to us understands what we are experiencing.
When we are in a meeting, and we discuss with someone, it is important to understand their point of view, even if we do not agree. Each person has different needs and this should be respected. In addition, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes helps us to send a clearer and more effective message. Unfortunately, we are used to judging the behavior of others, instead of focusing on what they feel.
How can we improve our empathy?
By any chance, don’t you feel like a very empathetic person? Do you find it hard to understand the needs of others and are too focused on yourself? Don’t worry. Again, there are ways to approach empathy and develop this fundamental skill. Let’s see together what they are.
- Say goodbye to prejudices: Very often, we tend to believe that our way of thinking is the only reality. But the truth is that we are not always right and we are often influenced by prejudices. We must learn to understand people instead of judging them. To have a more realistic opinion about people, we must pay attention to what they tell us instead of embroidering stories that have no foundation.
- Reading between the lines: Considering that the body also has its own language, reading between the lines could be a way to understand the person we are talking to, going beyond words. People can not always express in words what they feel, but if we know how to read between the lines, we can understand their state of mind.
- Abandon our egocentrism: We must stop thinking that there is nothing and no one more important than us. Only by abandoning our self-centeredness will it be easier to know and understand the point of view of others. It also allows us to be more tolerant and understanding.
1. Active listening skills
And finally, the most important skill of all. The presumed queen. Active listening. Yes, because knowing how to listen to others is something we take for granted. Active listening refers, as its name suggests, to listening actively and with full awareness. In addition, it also means expressing that we are listening very carefully. This skill brings valuable benefits, such as helping to detect problems early and increasing productivity by minimizing misunderstandings (2).
So, we have arrived at the first skill that enables us to have successful communication. But how many of us actually listen actively? Most of the time, instead of listening, we just hear. Others, we are busy listening to ourselves and simply preparing the answer we have to give, distracting ourselves. What about that time when, instead of listening to a story, we have told our own?
How can we strengthen our listening skills?
Again, we can try to improve our listening skills. We just need to take a few steps to change our habits and try to really listen to the person we are communicating with. Below is a list of things we can take notes on:
- Do not interrupt: We should try to control the impulses that prompt us to interrupt the interlocutor. If we are not used to this, it may be a little difficult, but if we learn to pay attention to him or her, we will soon get used to it.
- Maintain eye contact: Looking into the eyes of the person we are talking to gives the idea that we are really interested in what they are saying. The same happens if they look us in the eyes, when we are communicating something.
- Take notes of what they are telling us: This is also a good tip that can help us a lot. Writing notes, writing down what they tell us, means that we are paying close attention and that we give it importance.
- Eliminate judgments and prejudices: Last but not least, let’s try not to make hasty judgments. In this way, we avoid internal distractions while talking to others.
At this point, we realized how much our level of communication can be improved by developing our communication skills. Indeed, communication is the key to a company’s success, but not only. Even in our private lives, communication plays a fundamental role.
Skills such as empathy, control of emotions and good writing make our work be valued positively. Let’s not forget to pay attention to non-verbal language. Concentrate on the tone we use, always analyze gestures and take into account the context to adopt the right tone. And finally, let’s improve communication with our employees, if we want a healthy work environment.
1. I. Diaz, G., & Andrés Ortiz, R. (2005, October). The qualitative interview. -. Retrieved October 1, 2022,
2. Hernández Calderón, K. A., & Lesmes Silva, A. K. (2018, January). Active listening as a necessary element for dialogue. -. Retrieved October 2, 2022.