How to develop communication skills exercises?

How to learn communication skills

The concept of “sociability” is familiar to many people today, but not every member of the human race has this trait in its character. Communicativeness – this quality in the character, which is inherent only in active and sociable people. It helps to develop different types of relationships in the team, to establish friendly contacts with certain people, to adapt quickly to changes in the environment and allows man to be a leader in life.

Sociable and open person easily and naturally can interest other people in a topic, involve them in an interesting conversation, silently listen to someone else’s opinion, and then quietly express his own, making the impression of an intelligent and interesting character.

In psychology, this type of people are called extroverts, and their antipodes – introverts. The latter, unlike the first, more immersed in his inner world and experiences, and practically not inclined to communicate with others.

Most individuals such a trait as sociability is given from birth, while the rest have to develop it independently, using for this various exercises for the development of sociability and all kinds of psychological practices aimed at the development of this quality in character.

Attention! Do not forget that sociability – does not always mean communicativeness. Communicative person – this is primarily a person who can easily adjust to different types of people and knows when and how to present this or that information to others.

Why do I need to develop my communication skills?

There are several reasons why a person should develop communication skills.

Firstly, it is an opportunity to achieve maximum success in life and the full realization of himself as a person in different spheres of life: in work, in creativity, in his personal life, etc. As statistics show, communicative people have a much better chance to achieve something specific in life, thanks to their communication skills.

If you were the head of a large corporation in which two completely different people are applying for the same vacant position: one of them is charming and open, the other is more reserved and serious, which of them would you choose? In most cases, the choice would fall on candidate number one, because he, thanks to his highly developed communication skills, can quickly and confidently put himself to the right people, and, if necessary, can easily negotiate with demanding and unyielding business partners on the necessary deal.

Secondly, the ability to easily enter into contact with people contributes to the acquisition of a large number of friendly relations, which later may be useful in life. A person who quickly and naturally finds common ground with other people can also easily resolve any conflict in his favor, as he is able to show flexibility in communication and understanding when it is required.

Finally, the development of sociability has a favorable effect on finding harmony in the inner world and getting rid of unnecessary complexes, fears, insecurity, a sense of loneliness, which are often subject to introverts.

How can you develop self-communicative?

Development of communicative skills must be engaged during childhood, that significant time when the formation of human character is influenced not so much by inner convictions, as by external factors. At this stage of human life, his communication skills are manifested in such moments as: the ability to adapt easily to new conditions (for example, a change of school or attendance of new creative clubs) and the ability to quickly make new friends. During this period, it is important for the child to have:

  • A calm, supportive environment in the home;
  • Friendly support from parents and their attentive, caring attitude;
  • emphasis on a well-rounded education.

In older age the person becomes more difficult to develop self-communication, but here you can achieve good results, choosing a special strategy for this. For the beginning you can just start to communicate more with the people around you, and it is better to carry out this process in person, but not in social networks, although they are not forbidden. In this case, the dialogues themselves should have a positive character, and not look boring monologues with complaints about life. This is necessary to ensure that your companion will remember the conversation at its best, and you yourself enjoy the exciting process of communication.

In parallel, you need to develop such traits as artistry and positive thinking. The first skill is needed in order to give their conversation more richness and emotionality, because the story, heated competent gestures, facial expressions and intonation, always cause interest in the listening audience. The second is to help attract as many people as possible, because a smile and an open, kind look always attracts attention, and no one is interested in pessimists. Try to become the kind of person that people around you will be drawn to. It is not for nothing that the popular wisdom says: “As it will bounce back, so it will bounce back.

But what should people do who do not have in their environment a large circle of acquaintances, and with colleagues and housemates they have nothing much to talk about? In that case, you should try to make new friends. And you should not be afraid to do this, although at first, of course, will be quite scary. You should not be shy to approach strangers in the street and call them for a conversation, using various tricks, and do not despair if the first attempts are unsuccessful. Here, the main thing is regular practice.

Useful tips for the development of communication skills

To increase the level of communication skills, psychologists today offer a lot of exercises and secrets. Here are some useful tips on how to improve a person’s communication skills:

  1. Learn to observe famous politicians or speakers. Note what “signature tricks” they use in conversation and try to repeat them.
  2. Watch some humorous monologues or verbal debates at home, and then replay them in front of a mirror, trying to convey the information confidently and freely. Such an exercise not only improves the quality of communication, but also puts you in a cheerful mood.
  3. If the conversation with your partner is boring, don’t try to end it as quickly as possible, but move the conversation in the right, more interesting direction, using counter-questions for this purpose. Set your own motive to the flow of the conversation, and you won’t notice how the dialogue becomes a fascinating conversation.
  4. Try to do daily exercises for diction, evenness and strength of voice, so that in the future to speak correctly and confidently.
  5. Eliminate parasitic words in your speech (“shorter,” “like,” etc.) and expand your vocabulary daily by reading fiction regularly.
  6. Try an exercise such as “Talking About Nothing. Its meaning is to take some object and try to talk about it continuously as much as possible, talking to an invisible interlocutor. In doing so, it is necessary to time the conversation with a stopwatch, so that the next time you try to exceed the previous time limit.
  7. Learn to establish contact with complete strangers: passersby, fellow travelers in transport, consultants in the store, etc. Set yourself a daily bar equal to a certain number of strangers, and try to reach it. Start with one contact per day and gradually increase their number to ten. In this exercise, credit should be given to yourself only if it was played at least one complete sentence, and not a single answer or silent action.

Warning. Developing communication skills is a daily effort, not a one-time event.

In conclusion.

Remember that sociability is a characteristic of human nature, which should be regularly developed and maintained, even if it is given to him from birth. With the desire and the right guidelines, this trait of character is capable of mastering every person, and, as a consequence, improve their life in the future and come to the desired success.

Development of communicative skills

The development of communication skills is required of every person on the planet, only if he does not live as a hermit in a cave. Even though many people now imagine themselves to be completely independent, everyone has to interact with other people in one way or another. In this article you will find some exercises, games, techniques and books that will help you pump up your communication skills.

How does the message get across?

This is an important question for those who are experiencing problems in one of these situations:

  • You are misunderstood.
  • You are misinterpreting what other people are saying.

What to do in these cases? You should start by analyzing the process of transmission and perception of information: so you can understand at what point the problem arises. The message is transmitted by:

  1. The occurrence of a reason or motivation to say something.
  2. Composition of the message (internal and technical development of what you want to express).
  3. Coding the message (speech, gestures).
  4. Transmission of the encoded message as a sequence of signals.
  5. Noise sources, such as natural sounds, can affect the quality of the signal and how the interlocutor perceives your message.
  6. Receipt of the signal by the receiver (your interlocutor).
  7. Interlocutor decoding your message.
  8. Interpretation of your message.

If at any stage there is a failure, your message will be misinterpreted. The same is true when you are the recipient. And that’s not even taking into account nonverbal signals, which can be: touch, gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, clothing. Speech (besides words) also contains non-verbal elements such as rhythm, intonation, tempo, and more.

The most important reason we are not understood or we are not understood is because of communication barriers.

Five Basic Barriers

In fact, the number of communication barriers is truly enormous, but perhaps we should start with the five main ones. If you overcome them, you will significantly improve your communication skills.

Judging the other person

If you judge the other person, then firstly, completely cease to understand the essence of what he says (it simply do not have time and attention), and secondly, you begin to put labels.

Not showing interest in what the other person is saying

Interest and curiosity are largely conscious processes. Dale Carnegie, when he wrote about the need to take a genuine interest in other people, meant just that: not to pretend, but to be conscious in communicating with other people, to get out of autopilot mode.

In many situations, you have to work at becoming interested.

Using technical or obscure language

Not only does it look snobbish and annoying, it also completely ruins understanding and dialogue. Learn to express your thoughts in simple words. However, if you see that the interlocutor reads your messages completely, you can raise the professional level of your speech.

Giving unsolicited advice.

They are bad because communication barriers appear already in your interlocutor. He stops thinking about your message and gets annoyed with the thought, “Why is he minding his own business?

It doesn’t matter at all how good your advice was. Learn to give it at the right time and in the right situations.

Don’t be empathetic.

Everyone has problems and concerns, whether you’re homeless or the Queen of Great Britain. You must (again – sincerely) take an interest in them. Remember that to a person, even their minor problems are far more important than all the floods, wars and fires combined.

After you’ve figured out what not to do, let’s discuss what to do. Or rather, what communication skills are worth developing.

Five basic communication skills

You won’t become a master communicator in one day. Nor will you become a master communicator in a month. But step by step, by mastering individual skills, you can significantly improve your level.

Active Listening

To learn how to listen actively, you need to adhere to at least one rule: listen twice as much as you speak.

The second rule: learn to “listen” with your whole body. That is, use facial expressions, gestures, eyes. The third rule: specify what the interlocutor wanted to say.

Non-verbal communication

Who are harmonious, whole people? Those whose speech does not conflict with the body and non-verbal signals. They say exactly what they feel, so the body reacts correctly to the words.

At first it will be difficult, because you have to pay attention to body language more than to the content of the information. But if you solve the problem gradually – first with the hands, then with the feet, eye contact, facial expressions – then after a while you yourself will become a harmonious person who has mastered communication skills well.

Asking questions

First of all, it is worth paying attention to the quality of the questions you ask. If they are closed, then you need to completely change your approach and start asking open questions:

  • How?
  • How?
  • Why?
  • How many?
  • How often?

Asking questions may seem difficult at first. But once you begin to be genuinely curious about people, this skill will develop on its own.

Clarification

This is important when listening to the person you are talking to. Always try to clarify exactly what he wanted to say. This approach kills two birds with one stone:

  • Allows you to fully understand the goals and motives of the interlocutor.
  • Shows you are really listening.

Awareness

Awareness is the foundation of any skill because it requires you to break the habit of constantly watching yourself.

For example, with mindfulness you will stop criticizing and judging your interlocutor, you will be interested in making sense of his words, thoughts, feelings, learn to apply different approaches instead of just having a conversation as you know how.

Communication Skills Games

There are many exercise games that develop communication skills. Here are some of them.

Communication Origami.

This is a quick and easy exercise that shows how the same instructions are interpreted by different people and emphasizes the importance of clear communication. The game is more of a demonstration game, with its own morals.

Three or more people are required to complete the exercise.

  1. Give each a sheet of A4 paper.
  2. Inform the group that you will begin giving instructions on how to fold the paper to create an origami shape.
  3. Tell the group that while you are giving them instructions, they must keep their eyes closed and cannot ask questions.
  4. Begin giving the group instructions that they have to fold and tear their sheet several times, and then ask them to unfold and compare the view.

Emphasize that each piece of paper looks different, even though you gave everyone exactly the same instructions. Ask your group if their results would have been much better if they had opened their eyes sometimes or asked questions.

Open your eyes = listen and understand.

Asking questions = clarifying.

Effective communication is not easy, because we all interpret information the way we know how and want to. That’s why it’s important to ask questions and listen to your interlocutor.

Guess the emotion

This exercise game is also carried out in the company, but it is funnier and more exciting than the previous one.

The aim of the game is that its participants learn to better “read” feelings and emotions of each other. The company divides into teams and each player takes turns showing emotions such as disgust, affection, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, anger, determination, while the general group tries to guess what emotion it is. At this stage, however, the rules can be changed by you, depending on how you feel most interested.

  1. Divide into two teams.
  2. Put a deck of emotions on the table, with the name of the emotion written on each card.
  3. Ask a participant from group A to take the top card (or several cards) from the table and perform a pantomime for their group. This should be done in a certain amount of time (e.g. a minute or two).
  4. If the emotion is guessed, Group A gets 10 points.
  5. Now group B should do the same.
  6. After a few rounds, sum up the results.

Scene

A game for two. The rules are very simple. You can say that you make them up yourself.

First, think about the topic around which the dialogue will be set. It could be:

  • Customer service (difficult customer).
  • A sales associate is approached by an angry customer.
  • An argument between two people about whether Mars should be colonized.

You must clearly spell out the conflict before you begin the skit. The ending can be random.

Body Language

Sometimes body language says more than any words you can utter. Both consciously and subconsciously, the body shows the interlocutor what is really going on with you.

  1. Explain to the group that you are going to give them a series of instructions that they should copy as quickly as possible.
  2. Say the following instructions aloud to the group, and at the same time follow them:
  • Touch your finger to your nose.
  • Clap your hands.
  • Spread your hands out.
  • Touch your index fingers to your shoulders.
  • Cross your arms.
  • Put your hand on your stomach – but touch the tip of your nose with your finger during these words.
  1. Notice the number of people who copied what you did rather than what you said.

Body language can reinforce verbal communication, but it can also be stronger than verbal communication — it’s important to be aware of it so that you’re clear that you’re projecting the right message.

Books

You can understand the topic of communication in more detail by reading the following books.

  • “Never Eat Alone” by Kate Ferrazzi
  • “How to Talk to Anyone” by Mark Rhodes
  • “The Science of Communication. How to read emotions, understand intentions and find common ground with people” by Vanessa Edwards
  • “I Can Hear You Through” by Mark Goulston
  • “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
  • “Mastering Communication. How to find common ground with anyone” Paul McGee
  • “How to Conquer Shyness” by Philip Zimbardo
  • “The Power of Persuasion. The art of influencing people” James Borg
  • “Secrets of Communication. The Magic of Words” James Borg

We wish you good luck!

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