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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

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Communication Skills

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  1. Communication Skills

  2. Communication Skills Overview Effective communication skills are a critical element in your career and personal lives. We all must use a variety of communication techniques to both understand and be understood.

  3. Most common ways to communicate Visual Images Speaking Writing Body Language

  4. Communication Goals

  5. Critical success factor for life The majority of your perceived ability comes from how you communicate 30% What you know 70% How you communicate it Source: CGAP Direct

  6. Listening Skills

  7. Agenda • Motivation • How to Listen • Paraphrasing, Summarizing and Questioning

  8. Part 1Motivation

  9. Session Objectives • Be able to: • Describe reasons that communication fails • List strategies to improve communication • Paraphrase and summarize conversations • Use appropriate questioning techniques

  10. Listening and Speaking are used a lot…

  11. … But not taught enough Amount taught

  12. Listening is needed everywhere… • Listening skills form the basis of: • Continued learning • Teamwork skills • Management skills • Negotiation skills • Emotional intelligence

  13. … But not practiced effectively • 70% of all communication is • Misunderstood • Misinterpreted • Rejected • Distorted • Not heard Source: CGAP Direct

  14. Part 2How to Listen

  15. “Harry always was a poor listener.”

  16. What if communication were not possible?

  17. Frustration and Chaos!

  18. Both children want the orange

  19. But without good listening, neither gets what they want…

  20. Communication Communication is the process of sending and receiving information among people… Feedback SENDER RECEIVER sender receiver Source: CGAP Direct

  21. Messages not delivered due to “distortion” Feedback Sender Receiver Distortion

  22. Speaker Language Wordiness Semantics Emotions Inflections Listener Perceptions Preconceived notions/expectations Physical hearing problem Speed of thought Personal interests Emotions Attention span No active listening! What causes distortion?

  23. What do you think about? I have something really important to tell you Maybe I should get a haircut

  24. 30% of you aren’t paying attention right now!

  25. Clues that you are not listening • Are you simply waiting for your turn to talk? • Are you thinking about your reply before the other person has finished talking?

  26. Listening and speaking require energy • Listening takes. . . • concentration and energy • curiosity and open-mindedness • analysis and understanding • Speaking requires. . . • sharp focus • logical thinking • clear phrasing • crisp delivery

  27. How to be an active listener • Set the stage • Choose an appropriate physical environment • Remove distractions • Be open and accessible • Maintain relaxed, open posture that shows concentration • Ensure mutual understanding • Reflect feelings • Offer acknowledgements (say “uh-huh”) • Paraphrase main ideas • Interrupt to clarify • Confirm next steps

  28. How to be an active listener • Understand body language • Observe position and posturing • Make eye contact • Consider expression and gestures • Suspend judgment • Concentrate • Keep an open mind • Hear the person out • Do not react to emotive words

  29. Active Listening (not!) • Behaviors that hinder effective listening • Act distracted (look at your watch!) • Tell your own story without acknowledging theirs • Give no response • Invalidate response, be negative • Interrupt • Criticize • Diagnose what was said • Give advice/solutions quickly • Change the subject • Reassure without acknowledgment

  30. Let’s practice • Tell the person next to you about your Research Project

  31. Tell me your stories • Do you feel your partner understood you? • What made your partner easy/hard to listen to?

  32. Part 3Paraphrasing, Summarizing and Questioning

  33. Techniques to improve listening skills SUMMARIZE Pull together the main points of a speaker PARAPHRASE Restate what was said in your own words QUESTION Challenge speaker to think further, clarifying both your and their understanding

  34. Paraphrasing is simply restating what another person has said in your own words. Use phrases such as: In other words… I gather that… If I understand what you are saying… What I hear you saying is… Pardon my interruption, but let me see if I understand you correctly… Practice Paraphrasing

  35. Summarizing pulls important ideas, facts or data together. Useful for emphasizing key points and setting the stage for further discussion. The person summarizing must listen carefully in order to organize the information systematically. Try out these summarizing phrases: “If I understand you correctly, your main concerns are…” “These seem to be the key ideas you have expressed… ” Practice Summarizing

  36. Two basic types of questions • Closed questions: • Get a one-word response and inhibit thought. • Questions begin with who, when and which • Open-ended questions: • Invite unique thought, reflection or an explanation. • Questions begin with how, what and how come (not why!).

  37. Practice Questioning • Rephrase the following closed questions to make them open-ended: • Are you feeling tired? • Isn’t it a nice day? • Was the last activity useful? • Is there anything bothering you? • So everything is fine, then?

  38. Let’s practice • Tell the person next to you what you did last weekend

  39. Questions?

  40. Feedback • Give an assessment of today’s session • What did you like most and least? • Assess the verbal presentation? • Assess the slides? • How useful do you think this topic will be for future classes on communications?