One of the most common and widely used training programs or workshops is often based on Effective Communication Skills. While deservedly so because effective communication is extremely important for employees across functions and job roles, there are a few key skills or topics that are often missed.
Most programs on communication skills are based on a training need identification and analysis. However, knowing these topics in communications skills training programs can help you align identified training needs with the key deliverables from the program. Furthermore, If you want to make your Effective Communication Skills Training really ‘effective’ you must incorporate these 7 must cover topics in Effective Communication Skills training programs
1. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
At this stage, perhaps you may be thinking that emotional intelligence is a vast topic and it would take too much time to cover the topic. Let me tell you that you are partially right.
However, you don’t need to cover the entire content of emotional intelligence. The topics that need to covered are just self-awareness and awareness about others. I recommend reading more about Emotional Intelligence here.
Actually the most critical element that covering emotional intelligence as a communication skills topic is letting your participant know how humans behave under stress and why do they do so. The fight and flight response triggered due to emotional events and making the participants aware about it helps them in communication across levels.
We all know that it’s handling difficult conversations is where most of us struggle. Including EI in the effective communication context can help build those skills.
We have a complete guide on building Effective Communication Skills which you can refer to.
2. ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS
We don’t actually listen to what we hear. There are so many sounds coming from all corners. While our brain needs to focus to grasp sounds that we hear, we do miss of many other sounds and importantly the intention of the speaker. Active listening skills are about understanding communication beyond the sound.
It is about focusing on the message and equally on who is providing it and the body language. It is like reading between the words, you try to understand not only what is spoken but also what has not been. This is a skill worth learning and is a ‘must cover’ topic for an effective communication skills program.
I recommend reading about Active Listening Skills to have more inputs on the subject
3. COMMUNICATING UNDER STRESS
Most of us are troubled by the conversation that is stressful and difficult. A normal response by most people is to avoid the conversation or become too aggressive and lose the plot. This is the reason why communicating under stress is an area that must be covered under all Effective Communications Skills training.
While it is related to emotional intelligence, handling difficult conversation is the actual application and also the result of emotional intelligence. You can cover how you can manage and emotions and out propensity to externalize blame and build stories which are often not true.
This not only helps in building empathy during communication it will actually prepare your participant to handle difficult conversations and dialogue.
There are numerous researches that all point to the fact that storytelling is one of the most engaging forms of communication. We all have grown up listening to stories and stories help us paint a picture of the message. Furthermore, it also helps us relate to emotion.
Storytelling is one of the most coveted aspects of communication skills and is a separate skill to develop. However, letting you participant know how and why stories work best as a form of communication with examples will help them in all aspects of communication.
Storytelling is a skill which needs a separate training program in itself. However, incorporating some elements of storytelling and helping the participants frame-up their own stories will go a long way in making the Effective Communication Skills program much more successful.
5. WRITING ENGAGING CONTENT
Most often we ignore the importance of writing great content in communication skills training. If your training program includes written communication, you must include writing engaging content as one of the topics to be covered. This is a skill which is worth having and helps individual a lot in their careers.
6. ARTICULATION OF THOUGHT
Often ignored in Effective Communication training programs, articulation of thought is a must cover topic. Most training programs focus on communicating the message however the bigger picture of clearly conveying the thought process, the idea or strategy is often lacking due to the absence of articulation of thought topic.
7. WRITING WINNING PROPOSALS
While a program in itself and often confused as training required only for salespeople, writing a winning proposal is actually a skill of conveying the idea in a way that is appreciated by the receiver. This is the most ignored of the must cover topics in effective communication skills program.
You can refer to our post on writing winning proposals for further insights.
Effective Communication Skills a wide skill area and it requires a lot of concerted effort and gradual improvements to reach high proficiency. Nonetheless, the above-mentioned topics, if incorporated well in the Effective Communication Skills training will make the process much easier and overall very effective.