Meaning of Skill
Skills refer to the abilities of doing something well, because you have learned and practiced it. So, communication skills are the abilities of writing, speaking listening and interpersonal communicating effectively.
Importance of business communication skills
Because communication is so much important in business, business organizations need people with good communication skills. The nationwide survey in American corporate recruiters revealed the importance of communication skills. “The recruiters ranked four communication skills (writing, speaking, listening and interpersonal communicating, in the top five criteria for selecting employees”.)
Another study conducted by Robert Half International among 1000 largest employers in the U.S also revealed, “Employees must have good communication skills to get ahead”. People with less communication skill fail to properly communicate. Consequently, receivers are likely to either misunderstand or fail to understand the message received from the sender who is not a aware of the styles of good communication. Sometimes unskilled communication is considered to be the main reason for company failure. On the other hand a company which has the people with good communication skill does not have this problem. Obviously, people with good communication skill are considered asset to the company. There is a high correlation between communication skills and income. By improving your communication skills, you can improve your chances for success.
Developing Communication Skills
Message particularly business message are sent to receivers for taking favorable action by the receivers. To achieve this objective, messages should be organized in such a way that they will be appealing and interesting. And the receivers also will understand the meaning of the message easily, clearly and appropriately. If your sentence or paragraph construction is free from errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation word usage, still the message which is technically correct may not achieve its objectives. Although the paragraph is technically correct, it lacks style. A style means the way how an idea is expressed. “Style refers to the effectiveness of the words, sentence, paragraphs and overall tone or your message.
What is Adaptation?
Adaptation means fitting a message to the specific reader. To fit the message, you should identify the interests, needs and personality of your reader and anticipate the probable reaction of the reader and accordingly adapt your message to the reader.
Techniques of Adapting
All reader does not have the same abilities and qualifications, adaptation technique will need:
- Lower Level Language: If your reader doesn’t know much about the subject of your message, if their education level is below your own, write the message at level which is lower than the one that you would normally use.
- Simple Word: When you writing to a group of less educated workers, whose vocabularies are limited, use simple and familiar word.
- Multiple Readers: If you write to multiple readers who vary widely in education, knowledge of the subject and so on, write for the lowest members of the group to communicate with all of them.
Some Important Principles of Developing Your writing Skills are noted as under:
- Clarity: To write clearly means to writ message in such a way that the readers can understand properly.
- Be Accurate: The most basics of accuracy are the truth of facts and figures presented in the message. It involves much more than freedom from errors on grammar, spelling, word order, sentence structure and punctuation.
- Be Complete: Message should be sent in completeness. This means that the receiver be communicated all the information that he/she needs- no more and no less, to evaluate the message and to react appropriately. To include all the information, explain 5 Ws. In the message;
Who to do?
What to do?
When to do?
Where to do?
Why to do?
If you leave out any of this information, it may result either in decisions based on incomplete information or in extra follow up correspondence to collect the needed information. Answering why question is particularly important while you write persuasive and negative message.
Use Familiar Words:
Familiar words mean everyday words. These words are very simple and clear to understand. Using familiar words means using the language that most people use in everyday conversation. So you must use words that are familiar both to you and your readers.
Avoid Unnecessary Jargon (technical words):
Jargon refers to technical vocabulary used within a special group. It is special terminology that is peculiar to a particular activity or profession.
Conciseness: Keep sentences concise (short) because short sentences communicate better. This happens so because of mind limitations. “Readability research tells us that the more words and the more relationships there are in a sentence, the greater is the possibility for misunderstanding”. Thus to give too much information in a sentences is to risk miscommunication. Therefore it is better to keep sentences short. Short sentence means about 16-18 words per sentence for mid-level readers. If a sentence runs beyond 30 words, it is better to break it up into two sentences. You can write short sentences in two basic ways: (a) using words economically (b) limiting sentence content.
Using words economically:
Economizing on words means seeking shorter ways of expressing things, to make your message concise, avoid redundancy, excessive use of adjectives.
Avoid Redundancy: Redundancy is the unnecessary repetition of an idea that has already been expressed in an accompanying word. In a sentence we need to repeat a certain word for emphasis.