Communication is a key factor for exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions and generating a sense of familiarity between two individuals. According to statistics, 85% of success depends on the ability to communicate. Becoming a skilled communicator is not as hard as it may seem. Mastering effective communication skills is fundamental for success in work life, relationships, friendship and any other medium.

Listen Attentively and Actively:

Communication is like a dance between the speaker and listener. A person who listens actively and tries to find out the hidden meanings develops a personal connection much more easily. Communicators should ensure that their body language suggests their active involvement in conversation.

Understanding Non-Verbal cues:

According to researchers, a communication consists of more than 50% non-verbal elements. Eye contact, posture, expressions, voice quality, and attentiveness, all are non-verbal cues. Excellent communicators can easily fathom hidden meanings behind non-verbal gestures. Their responses therefore, continuously evolve and improve to match the tone and mood of their listener.

Developing an Empathetic Attitude:

Knowing where the other person is coming from is equally important. One must learn the art of empathy to succeed at social levels. Soothing and comforting words that make the other person realize their importance go a long way towards development of a lasting relationship. It also helps a speaker better shape his responses according to his audience.

Choosing proper medium of communication:

Effective communication skills are not limited to just nonverbal cues and listening. Medium of communication plays an important role as well. Current economic age of e-mails, voice messages, fax, telephone calls and face-to-face communication gives numerous choices. Medium should be tailored towards the type of audience. A busy boss would prefer email while a loved one would appreciate face-to-face personal communication.

Asking the Right Questions:

Sudden communication gaps and lapses can really hamper any conversation. A person who has mastered effective communication skills knows how to break the ice by asking important questions. These open-ended questions help lessen anxiety and develop a feeling of trust and understanding.

Clarity and Conciseness:

Good communicators know what to say without rambling on too much. An excellent conversation is one which is clear, concise and channels speaker’s thoughts effectively. Talking too less, slurred speech, rambling and deviation from the topic at hand can be really harmful; especially in work-related conversations.

Friendliness and Warmth:

As a speaker, one should project warmth and friendliness. Open arms, relaxed posture, friendly tone and constant smiles help keep the conversation flowing smoothly. It also assists in breaking the ice. People are more likely to trust someone who is friendly and open, they find it easier to relate to such a person.

Giving proper respect:

One should know about the station and social standing of another person. Giving proper respect and deference, can help alleviate misunderstandings. Respect is very important among effective communication skills and it makes the other person feel important. Respect should be in all communication even between friends and family members.

Genuineness and Transparency:

No one likes two-faced backstabbers. All communications should be genuine and portray true feelings. It is very easy to recognize someone who is hiding behind a mask. To really relate to someone, walls must be removed. Only then true understanding and respect will develop.

Ability to lessen conflicts:

Conflicts in opinions, thoughts, and ideology is a part of life. It is the ability to lessen conflict that separates an excellent communicator from a poor one. Great communicators recognize hostile situations immediately and know what to say in order to placate the other person.

These ten effective communication skills must be developed by all who wish to have fruitful social interactions. Man is a social animal, and crave communication. Master communication and one will have a clear path towards a successful life.