The Power Of Communication

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills. It is what enables us to pass information to other people, and to understand what is said to us.

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The ability to communicate information accurately, clearly and as intended, is a vital life skill and something that should not be overlooked. It is never too late to work on your communication skills and by doing so, you may well find that you improve your quality of life…Communication skills are needed in almost all aspects of life:

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In your personal life, good communication skills can improve your personal relationships by helping you to understand others, and to be understood.

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It is almost a cliche that personal relationships need communication. Failure to talk has been blamed for the breakdown of any number of partnerships and relationships – but the ability to listen is also an important element. Communication is also vital in wider family relationships, whether you want to discuss arrangements for holidays, or ensure that your teenage children are well and happy.

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Communication is a two-way process Communication is not the same as broadcasting, or simply sending out information. It is a two-way process. In other words, it involves both the sending and receiving of information.

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If you are the ‘sender’ of information, this means communicating it clearly to start with (whether in writing or face-to-face), then asking questions to check your listeners’ understanding. You must also then listen to their replies, and if necessary, clarify further.

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If you are the recipient, it means listening carefully to the information, then checking that you have understood by reflecting back, or asking questions to ensure that you both have the same understanding of the situation. It is, therefore an active process. There is nothing passive about communication, in either direction.

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Verbal communication can be both written and spoken. The words that we choose can make a big difference to whether other people understand us. Communicating with a young child, or with someone who does not speak our own language very well. You need to use simple language, short sentences, and check understanding regularly.

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Questioning skills are one very important area of verbal communication, often used in clarification, but also to extract more information, and as a way to maintain a conversation.

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Being able to communicate effectively is also a skill like any other. It too can be learned, given time. Anyone can make a start on improving their communication skills at any time, and the investment of time and effort is likely to pay off.

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‘Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
Yehuda Berg


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