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What do you mean by Good Communication Skills? How to speak well?

We have all heard this a lot of times - "xyz has good communication skills", "you need to be good in communication skills to be successful", "communication skills xyz..." etc. Lot of people move around with misconceptions regarding communication skills.

It is imperative to first understand what exactly is the meaning of Communication Skills? Good or Bad, we can decide later. 

Communication Skills means, the person should be able to express his ideas clearly providing cogent arguments. It does not really matter what language he uses. He could be using a mix of 2 languages for eg English & Hindi, while speaking. But if he is able to establish a connection with the listener & can address the concerns/points of skepticism/disagreement raised in the conversation he can be considered good. If the speaker gets the listener on-board or the listener completely or even partially agrees to him, though he might be having a diametrically opposite view to that of the speaker, you can conclude that the speaker has good communication skills. 

A person who has good communication skills will be able to get people to endorse his views though he may be speaking in Hindi or Marathi or Gujarati... He can make people make a paradigm shift in their ideologies because he conveys the message clearly & pinpoints the incorrectness in their thoughts, beliefs or analysis. We have all seen the most polished speaker being a spectator while the one who was not as polished being hailed as a good communicator. Empathy plays an important role in communication.

For good communication skills, the ideas need to be relayed clearly by the speaker & at the same time he needs to be a good listener so that he is always connected to the responses and addresses them in a lucid fashion.

A lot of people live under the delusion that if someone is able to speak English well without using any fillers(using 'umm', 'a' etc sounds when getting stuck) he/she has exceptional communication skills. People do use fillers while speaking. The use of fillers could be to either buy time to streamline the thoughts that need to be expressed or simply because they have an underdeveloped vocabulary which does not equip them to speak in a flow though they could be equipped with a smooth flow of thoughts. They could be searching for words, mentally, to express themselves lucidly.

Of course use of fillers may not be appreciated by most of the listeners as fillers prove to be a distraction to most people & they need to focus more to comprehend in totality the excerpts of the conversation. It is possible to eliminate the use of fillers by practice. But even people who use fillers while speaking are sometimes found to be exceptional communicators. The yardstick being they easily get people to support their views or in their endeavors.  

So, coming back, if someone speaks impeccable English & sounds polished, it would not be appropriate to label that individual as someone who has exceptional communication skills just because of his speaking skills. Indians, specially those from the rural areas do seem to get captivated by anyone who can express himself in English. We can conclude that a person who is good in English can be termed as a polished speaker or a good orator. A good communicator will express himself clearly & be empathetic. A lot of people will introspect & change their thought process or their respective stands after introspection after listening to him. 

I would strongly recommend that one must not get obsessed by someone's mastery over a foreign language.


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