Communication skills help people adequately convey their points and feel at ease while doing so, among other things. And, it's impossible for someone to say they know everything about communication. There's always more to learn.
It's difficult to envision a scenario where better communication skills aren't advantageous. When talking to a significant other or standing at the front of a meeting room to address colleagues, clear and thoughtful communication matters.
Here are six reasons why people can and should strive to be better communicators — and six apps to make the goal achievable.
1. Active listening could improve your understanding
People often forget that active listening is a valuable communication skill. It means listening with the intention of understanding, not merely responding. Moreover, active listening engages the speaker by asking questions to verify understanding.
As such, being an excellent active listener could reduce misunderstandings. The Active Listening Skills app for Android covers how a person can show they are listening, provide feedback and more.
2. Public speaking is almost inevitable
Many people are fearful of speaking in public. Some think they would prefer to do almost anything else. But, improving one's public speaking skills is an admirable goal because the opportunity to use them will likely crop up sooner rather than later, even in informal settings.
For example, a person who goes to a monthly social group might be asked to speak about the business they own or a cause that stirs up their passions. Additionally, of course, plenty of speaking possibilities are related to work.
Ummo is an iOS app that coaches users by monitoring their speech and picking up on things like clarity, pacing and the number of times they say "Um" or "Ah." It even helps people get rid of filler words.
3. Most employers want people with strong writing skills
Research shows more than 73 percent of employers want candidates who are strong writers. Even people who are happy in their current positions shouldn't assume they won't ever need or want to change jobs. Plus, people often make assumptions when reading written material. If it's not worded well, readers may make incorrect assumptions about the writer.
So, by committing to improving their written communication skills, people could make themselves more attractive in the job market and enhance the impressions others have about them.
Ginger is a browser extension app that automatically checks written work for spelling mistakes, missing punctuation, word usage and other essentials. It could make people more productive whenever they write, as well as help them recognize bad habits.
4. People process more than words
Although it's important to choose words carefully and ensure they aren't unnecessarily confusing, being mindful of body language is crucial, too. According to statistics, 55 percent of the information people receive and process during personal interactions is visual.
If a person's speech features numerous confident statements but the individual doesn't make eye contact with the audience during it, it'll be challenging for everyone to believe what's being said.
Psychologist Amy Cuddy introduced the world to the concept of power posing when she gave a TED Talk about the importance of body language — especially posture.
The Trick Me app for Android specifically teaches you how to recognize signs that someone may be lying. Characteristics such as gaze direction and the position of one's lips are some of the body language types it covers.
5. Communicating as a team is essential for reaching goals
Whether product developers are working toward a deadline or a household is trying to figure out the fastest way to tidy up before relatives arrive for a weekend visit, communicating as a group helps people pool their resources and pay attention to achieve a common goal.
But, it's especially hard for people in today's workplaces to communicate well as teams because the environment is often so siloed and individuals may not interact with each other frequently.
6. Being a better communicator boosts self-esteem
Improving one's communication skills should be a lifetime goal to keep in mind because of the wealth of resulting advantages. For example, people who communicate well typically feel confident in themselves.
But, if self-esteem levels are already low, it's a good idea to use a self-confidence improvement app along with communication apps. RISE Self Esteem is worth a look since it tracks progress. It's available for iOS and Android.
Communication skills are beneficial in all aspects of life
Whether focusing on career advancement or better interpersonal relationships, communication skills should not be overlooked. These apps help people make noticeable gains.
Image by Christina Morillo
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