Good communication skills are critical in both your professional and your personal life.
The Skill and Art of Communication
Every successful Wildcatter has an acute appreciation of the value of communication skills. We’re not talking about public speaking, which is also a very important skill. We are talking about the subtle, yet extremely complex, task of interacting with another person. Explaining an idea…listening to another’s concerns or problems…expressing an emotion…all done with plethora of words at our disposal. Choosing the corrects words, AND putting them into the proper sequence is the challenge of communication.
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”
Good communication skills are critical in both your professional and your personal life. The good news is your communication skills are not hardwired. We can all improve on this most useful of tasks. It just takes a bit of effort. The following are three basic habits that Wildcatters use to improving their communication skills and, thus, improve the quality of their lives:
1) Successful communications requires the simple act of listening. Take a breath and let the other person speak. Who knows? You might learn something. Stop thinking about the next thing you are going to say and just listen.
“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”
2) Get in the habit of “watching while listening.” So much of the communication process is more than just words. Be aware of facial expressions. Consider body language. Gauge emotions, both good and bad.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
3) Don’t multi-task. Wildcatters pride themselves in multi-tasking, which is actually a wonderful skill…in everything except communication. When it is time to talk, turn off the TV; don’t check your e-mails; ignore your cell phone. Pay attention and you will reap rewards.
“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”