Communication Skills

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The Source – Planning Your Message
(Questions 1, 2, 11)
Your score is 9 out of 15
Before you start communicating, take a moment to figure out what you want to say, and why. Don't waste your time conveying information that isn't necessary – and don't waste the listener or reader's time either. Too often, people just keep talking or keep writing – because they think that by saying more, they'll surely cover all the points. Often, however, all they do is confuse the people they're talking to. Good communicators use the KISS ("Keep It Simple and Straightforward") principle. They know that less is often more, and that good communication should be efficient as well as effective. Encoding – Creating a Clear, Well-Crafted Message

(Questions 1, 5, 8, 10, 15)
Your score is 12 out of 25
When you know what you want to say, decide exactly how you'll say it. You're responsible for sending a message that's clear and concise. To achieve this, you need to consider not only what you'll say, but also how you think the recipient will perceive it.

We often focus on the message that we want to send, and the way in which we'll send it. But if our message is delivered without considering the other person's perspective, it's likely that part of that message will be lost. To communicate more effectively: Understand what you truly need and want to say.

Anticipate the other person's reaction to your message.
Choose words and body language that allow the other person to really hear what you're saying. With written communication, make sure that what you write will be perceived the way you intend. Words on a page generally have no emotion – they don't "smile" or "frown" at you while you're reading them (unless you're a very talented writer, of course!) Another important consideration is to use pictures, charts, and diagrams wherever possible. As the saying goes, "a picture speaks a thousand words." Our article on charts and graphs has some great tips that help you to use these...
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