Are Communication Skills Dying a Death? Make language a bridge, not a barrier
330 words | 3 mins read
Did you know 65% of our human interactions now happen virtually rather than in person, and the result is we’re losing interpersonal skills at an alarming rate?
I think good interpersonal communication skills are more important than ever. Simply because when you get in front of another human being, you have the chance of influencing them far more effectively than just by the written word, a post on social media or business card left on a notice board.
In this short article, I’m going to address what you say, rather than how you say it.
What words turn you off? In a recent informal survey, I discovered one of the biggest turn-offs is that of jargon. And oddly enough it is a modern or trendy thing some people do to position themselves as the person or business to-go-to. It’s a generalisation, but only a few decades ago we all spoke and wrote in a much more accessible way. We took time to explain, to lead our reader through our narratives and interactions – without resorting to acronyms or technical jargon.
Now with electronic communication taking up most of our day are we losing the ability to communicate effectively when meeting people face-to-face?
If your industry is chock full of jargon like for example, the financial industry – investment, banking, insurance. Or a professional one such as health care – dentistry, physiotherapy, nutrition. Maybe your skills come from an expertise in IT, Technology, Robotics. I’m sure whatever industry you are in there are times when it’s simply quicker to slip into ‘techno-speak’, the only problem with that is our listener probably won’t understand and simply switch off.
Last year I worked with Pete, a personal trainer, who was recognised by his industry as a ‘rising-star’. Before we met, to impress his audience, he would go into such depth about the body, its muscle structures and how proteins could boost muscle growth. He did this not to impress but to demonstrate he knew how to get people body-fit – the only problem was his audience didn’t understand him.
Last month I overheard a cyclist at a road race say to a friend “You should speak to my personal trainer, Pete Williams he’s an expert in getting people road cycling fit. He didn’t bamboozle or try to impress me with body-fit jargon, he simply explained, what I needed to do and how he could help me achieve it, in a way that I understood.”
It’s amazing how so many try to bamboozle and impress by using language that is hard to understand, impressive though it may sound. It just becomes a barrier between you and your audience. As human beings, we thirst to understand and in turn be understood. And when someone makes that easier, even safer for us, we respond with more openness and even warmth.
Let’s continue this conversation. Complete the online contact form or call me on 01242 375717.