Before you listen to an expert talking about communications skills, read the
following statements and decide if they are true or false.
We generally find it easier to talk to people who appear very
different from ourselves.
2. When talking to someone you’ve never met before, it’s a good idea
to ask as many questions as possible.
3. If you look into a stranger’s eyes for too long, they might get
the wrong message.
4. When complaining, don’t be distracted by listening too closely to
what the other person is saying.
5. It’s a good idea to summarise and clarify the other person’s
point of view at the end of your complaint.
6. Most of us naturally have good communication skills
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Check your answers.
Listen again and write one word in each space to complete the transcription. Use
the pause button on your media player to give you time to write.
have problems communicating in situations where they’re
unsure of the people they’re talking to. So for instance
you’re at a party and there’s a room full of strangers, people
you’ve never met before, that generally, for most people, would be
Another area is where people are
of what they’re talking
about, so the worries them
for whatever reason. A few years ago, I had to give a presentation
and I wasn’t very familiar with the subject. It was a disaster!
And the area is where we’re
in a situation of speaking to an audience who we perceive as being
very different to us. Different in terms of their age, their
experience or their or
Let’s take the party scenario for example. Suppose you’re introduced
to someone, eer... again a
you’ve never met them before and you don’t know them. You’re
introduced to them and from the introduction you gather that they
are actually quite an important person, that they’ve got high
status, they’re very experienced, they’re much older than you, and
all of a sudden you think ‘My God, why would they possibly want to
listen to me?’ and we feel totally
Now, one of the most common mistakes in this situation would be that
the person would want to speak too much, but what they really
in that situation is asking
some questions to get the other person talking to them. Not too many
questions, because if we ask too many questions it sounds like an
, but getting the balance
right between giving some information but also asking for
information as well through questioning.
Probably one of the other things they would do in this situation
would be that they wouldn’t
enough. They wouldn’t stop to allow the other person to
what they’ve said and to give them time to think about what they’re
going to say next, and, of course, time to
on what is being said to
them. So that would be something we need to be careful of and to
always remember that when we
when we communicate, it may seem quite a long time to us, but it
probably won’t to the person we’re speaking to.
Moving on to the subject of eye contact, if we don’t look at someone,
they think they can’t trust us or that we’re not
so eye contact is very important. We’ve got to make sure we get it
right….if we give too much, they could
that we like them a little too much, or maybe we’re being a little
aggressive towards them. So we’ve got to get the eye contact about
right, about three seconds in general is about right before we move
away from the face and then come back to the eyes.
Now, as far as making complaints are concerned, I know this may be
for some people, and I
think it’s very common to feel uncomfortable about making a
complaint. Probably one of the most common things that people do in
that situation is they’re
far too much, so they become very unclear about the nature of the
compliant… they’re not precise enough and they may well be tempted
to speak far too quickly as well because actually we want to get to
the end of the complaint because we don’t particularly like
We may also
of not listening enough to what the other person has said because
actually we may be becoming emotional too, and therefore we listen
less actively to what the other person’s saying to us, and they in
turn may not listen very well to us either. So the whole complaint
may become totally
and we may end up completely falling out with one another. So,
that’s probably why complaints can be very difficult to
To complain successfully, the first thing to do is to think and plan
how you’re going to .
So don’t go straight into it. A lot depends on
the way that you say it, so you’ve really got to think
and consider what needs to be said. Make sure the sentences are
short. Take out any language which could be seen as being
to the other person. And
then wait and be prepared to get a response from the other person
who you’ve made the complaint to – and really listen, actively, to
what they’re saying and summarise or test your understanding of what
they’ve said to make sure you totally understand their
Now, in order to ,
think of it as being a... a restating, in a more compact form, what
the other person has said to you, so that you’ve included all the
key things, the important points, and make sure that you’ve
understood exactly what they’ve said to you. So restating,
, in a more compact and
concise form, what was said to you before.
It’s important to remember that whatever situation we’re in we
always have to deal with people, and we have to communicate with
people. And if we’re going to get the best out of people and
successfully, whether it be at work or in a social situation, we
need to have good communication skills and we mustn’t think that
good communication skills are something that we all naturally have.
It’s something that we all need to
to make sure that we build good relationships.
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