Communication Skills Handout

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COMMUNICATION SKILLS

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
CONTENTS
Introduction Communication Theory The Development of Language in Humans
Evolutionary psychology Empathy Which theory?

2 2 3
3 3 4

Reading body language
Five guidelines for reading body language: 1 Focus attention on the most helpful cues 2 Read non–verbals in context. 3 Note discrepancies. 4 Be aware of your own feelings and bodily reactions. 5 Reflect your understanding back to the other part for confirmation.

4
6 6 7 7 7 7

Listening Skills
Active Listening A model of Listening Skills Attending Skills An involving body posture Appropriate gestures Eye contact An environment free of distractions Following Skills Openers Little encouragements Use just a few questions Silence 15 Reflecting Skills Speaker problems Listener problems The Paraphrase Reflection of feelings Reflection of meanings Summarized reflections References and Further Reading

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8 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 14 14 16 16 16 17 17 18 19 19

1

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

INTRODUCTION
This session describes the communication process. In our model for this course, we concentrate on individual communication, but the principles and theories remain the same, regardless of whether we communicate with individuals or groups, or with society at large. In this section, we will look at communication theory, reading body language and listening skills.
1 COMMUNICATION THEORY

The theory shown in Figure 1 is general for all kinds of communication, including conversation, body language, data networks, and so on. It works as follows:

Transmitter

Encoding

Noise

Decoding

Receiver

Feedback
Figure 1 — A general theory of communication. 1 A person, or source has a message to send. This message has to be encoded e.g coded into English. At this point, a decision has been made about the

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