How to improve your communication skills

Effective communication skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life.  Many jobs require3 strong communication skills and people with good communication skills usually enjoy4 better interpersonal relationships5 with friends and family.

Effective communication is a key6 interpersonal skill and learning how we can improve our communication has many benefits7.

Communication is a two way process8, so improving communication involves9 both how we send and receive messages10.

The following list includes some tips11 to help you  improve your communication skills.

1.    Learn to Listen:  Listening12 is not the same as13 hearing14; learn to listen not only to the words being spoken15 but how they are being spoken and the non-verbal messages sent16 with them.  Try not to think about what to say next listening; instead17 clear your mind and focus on the message being received. 
2.    Be Aware of18 Other Peoples Emotions: Be sympathetic19 to other people's misfortunes20 and congratulate21 their positive achievements22.  Make and maintain eye contact23 and use first names where appropriate.  Do not be afraid24 to ask25 others for their opinions as this will help to make them feel valued.
3.    Empathise26: Empathy is trying to see things from the point-of-view27 of others. When communicating with others, try not to be influenced by preconceived ideas28 . Instead view situations and responses from the other person’s perspective.  Stay in tune with29 your own emotions to help you to understand the emotions of others. 
4.    Encourage30: Offer words and actions of encouragement31  and praise32 to others. Make other people feel welcome, wanted33, valued34 and appreciated in your communications. If you let others know that they are valued, they are much more likely to give you their best.  Try to ensure that everyone involved in an interaction or communication is included through effective body language and the use of open questions.
5.    Do not say the first thing that comes into your head but instead35 take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. Focus on the meaning36 of what you want to communicate. By communicating clearly, you can help avoid misunderstandings37 and potential conflict with others.  Always avoid racist and sexist terms or any language that may cause offence38.
6.    Use Humour: Laughing39 releases40 endorphins that can help relieve stress and anxiety41;. Don’t be afraid42 to be funny43, but ensure44 your humour is appropriate to the situation.  Use your sense of humour to “break the ice”, to lower barriers45 and gain the affection of others. 
7.    Attempt46 to Resolve Conflict: Learn resolve problems and conflicts as they arise47.  Learn how to be an effective mediator and negotiator. Use your listening skills to hear and understand both sides48 of any argument.
8.    Maintain a Positive Attitude and Smile: Few people want to be around someone who is frequently in a bad mood49.  Do your best to be friendly, upbeat50 and positive with other people. Maintain a positive, cheerful51 attitude to life: when things do not go to plan, stay optimistic and learn from your mistakes. This way, people will respond positively to you.
9.    Only Complain52 when Absolutely Necessary:  People will not be drawn53 to you if you are constantly complaining.  If something makes you angry54, wait for a few hours and calm down before taking action.  If you complain, do so calmly


1.      Improve = melhorar
2.      Skills = habilidades
3.    Require = exigir
4.    usually enjoy = normalmente desfrutam de
5.    interpersonal relationships = relacionamentos interpessoais
6.    key = chave
7.    benefits = beneficios
8.    two way process = processo de duas vias
9.    involves = envolve
10.  both how we send and receive messages = tanto como nós enviamos quanto recebemos mensagens
11.  tips = dicas
12.  listening = ouvir com atenção
13.  the same as = o mesmo que
14.  hearing = escutar sem atenção
15.  words being spoken = palavras sendo ditas
16.  sent = enviadas
17.  instead = ao invest de
18.  Be Aware of = esteja consciente de
19.  Sympathetic = compreensivo
20.  Misfortunes = contratempos, infortunios
21.  Congratulate = parabenizar
22.  Achievements = realizações
23.  eye contact = contato visual
24.  Do not be afraid = não tenha medo
25.  Ask = perguntar
26.  Empathise = crie empatia
27.  point-of-view = ponto de vista
28.  preconceived ideas = idéias pré concebidas
29.  in tune with = sintonizado com
30.  Encourage = encorajar
31.  Encouragement = encorajamento
32.  Praise = elogio
33.  Wanted = querido, desejado
34.  Valued = valorizado
35.  Instead = ao inves disso
36.  Meaning = significado
37.  avoid misunderstandings = evitar mal entendidos
38.  cause offence = offender, causar ofensa
39.   Laughing = dar risadas
40.  Releases = libera
41.  relieve stress and anxiety = aliviar  o stress e a ansiedade
42.  Don’t be afraid = não tenha medo
43.  Funny = engraçado
44.  Ensure = assegurar-se de
45.  lower barriers = baixar as barreiras
46.  Attempt = tentar
47.  as they arise = quando eles surgem
48.  both sides = ambos os lados
49.  in a bad mood = de mau humor
50.  upbeat = otimista, animado
51.  cheerful = animado, alegre
52.  Complain = reclamar
53.  Drawn = atraído
54.  Makes you angry = deixa você irritado