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It is known that what is said is not always understood properly. That is why it is necessary to acquire good communication skills in order to achieve success in all spheres of life. However, it is possible only if one is able to criticize him/herself and assess his/her current communication skills. This is the first step towards changes.
To assess and analyze my communication skills, I have applied Rich Young’s communication skills assessment tool. It is a set of sections for evaluating. In general, there are three main categories to evaluate, namely: personal, project management and organizational knowledge, culture and politics skills. Due to this assessment, I have understood that communication skills do not consist only of oral activities. There are a lot of things one should take into account in order to succeed in interpersonal relations.
After filling in the form for assessment, I have got the following results. I have intermediate level of personal communication skills, basic level of management and organizational knowledge, and limited in the third category (culture and politics skills). The results are trustworthy as I have never used any additional tools for communicating listed in the assessment under consideration. Time management is my biggest communication gap, because I never have enough time for analyzing the listeners and finding out the best way to convey my message to them. I also need to work on my risk assessment skills. It is my firm belief that communication cannot be effective without them. I think that it is always necessary to consider several ways to persuade the listener in my point of view and analyze all the risks which may appear during this process. I am sure that this ability is the guarantee of reaching the purpose of discussing a certain issue with the listener. I have never researched the audience’s cultural background and the knowledge which people have on the topic under analysis. Therefore, the lack of such experience is also a huge gap for me.
It should be noted that although the assessment demonstrated some weak points of my communication skills, it is rather encouraging for me as now I am familiar with the things I must know. This information helps me choose the courses to fill the gaps. Thus, I believe that it is necessary to start from a pithy time-management program. It is very important to know how to prepare for discussion and how to control time necessary for the speech. It should be limited, and there must be connection with the audience’s background. I guess that it may be a mistake to organize a long presentation for people who are not familiar with the topic. However, this knowledge is not enough for becoming a perfect communicator.
I can improve my current communication skills in several ways. The first one has already been mentioned above – attending special courses. Getting more experience is the second method. It is necessary to communicate as often as possible. I can do this every day by meeting my friends and dealing with family members. We communicate every day, and it is a mistake not to use every possibility to master corresponding skills in daily situations. Moreover, it is a good idea to resort to the use of relevant Internet sources. There are a lot of good master classes and books on the topic under consideration. Moreover, it is possible to involve one of the friends who communicates better. He/she may demonstrate important techniques which can be used in the future. In other words, there are a lot of good methods to get rid of the gaps in communication skills. All of them are useful for those who are eager to prepare themselves for advancement in a certain area.