Myths about communication skill

The top three myths about communication skills which most of us have:

1. Speaking grammatically correct English in a neutral accent is good communication skill. This is the most common misconception among people which prevents them to take action to improve their skills. If you also believe this, just take a piece of paper and read it before a handful of audience. Then ask another person to read the same and try for some more people. Does the message received by the audience is same for each of the readers? Each word can be spoken in multiple ways by different people and that changes the effect on the audience.
Communication involves effectively connecting with the audience or your partner you are talking to. Not just the words you speak, the way you speak, the way you take the pauses in between, voice modulation, body language, facial expression, eye contact, your personality comprises in the communication. Your body language or gestures can convey hundred words to your audience. Skill fully choosing your word while speaking as well as carefully maintaining the silence is an art to be worked on.

2. If you have good technical skills, you may not need good communication skill : Another dangerous assumption among technical people, including me, prevents from working on their communication skills. Technical skills can only take you to one level, beyond that you need to communicate. I am talking about people even who wants to opt for the life long individual contributor role as a technical specialist. The bottom line is, you have to deal with people, even If you have good technical skills. You need to talk to and convince people on your technical design or proposal. I don't have to explain how good communication skill is needed for a manager. Recently one of our senior manager told, 70% of the escalations are because of bad communication either written or verbal and can be avoided.

3. To be a good communicator I should speak more(out spoken) : Once you hone your skills on communication skills you are more likely to speak more and talk more. But listening skill is one of the most vital components of effective communication skill. If you are a manager or leading a bunch of people you need to listen to them more than talking to them. But the irony is you won't find any training or workshop for listening skill, you can only develop by practice. It requires more patience and effort to develop this than verbal communication.

Overall The communication skill can be learn but it requires time and effort like any other skill. Most of us should have learn this in the school days but If you are from vernacular medium of education and made fun of people speaking English in college, get ready to pay the price.

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