What Are Effective Communication Skills?

by Heather Eastridge; Updated September 26, 2017

Effective communication skills are important both in business interactions as well as personal interactions. Yes, communication takes place all the time, but how effective is it, and what does the phrase “effective communication” really mean?

Definition

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Now apply that definition to communication skills. Communication skills can be so effective that they make the listener change his mind or cause him to see the speaker’s point of view.

Significance

For someone who possesses effective communication skills, imagine the impact he has both at work and in his personal life. He is able to articulate clearly, either in writing or in his speech, so that his audience grasps what is the true meaning behind his words.

Perception

Because words can be easily misconstrued or taken out of context, an effective communicator is always aware of his audience and conscious of his tone. Someone who communicates in a condescending or arrogant manner will many times cause his audience to tune him out.

Misconception

Although communication might be thought of as one-way only, effective communication is bi-directional and employs listening skills as well. If a communicator searches for feedback and acts on that feedback, that separates him from the rest and makes him an effective communicator.

Benefits

Effective communication skills can potentially reduce the amount of errant communication that results in debates and arguments. In addition, effective communication skills can cause an employee to stand out from his peers as a leader. This recognition could allow for delegation of more responsibilities to him so he can utilize his strength as much as possible.

About the Author

Heather Eastridge is a business professional with a passion for learning. Her areas of expertise include project management, supply chain services and information technology for health care. Eastridge has earned associate degrees in business administration from Trinity Baptist College and Florida State College at Jacksonville.